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Ocean Microbes Feel a Warming Climate’s Effects

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Climate change could be about to alter life in the sea, according to new research in Nature Geoscience.

Researchers at the University of Southern California have been experimenting with common microbes, hoping to predict which will flourish in a warmer and more carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere.

The microbes are two genera of cyanobacteria. These tiny creatures – blue-green algae responsible for huge occasional “blooms” in the sea – are life’s bottom line: they fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and they photosynthesize atmospheric carbon to release oxygen, so they deliver staples for survival both for all plants and for all animals.

These microbes are everywhere. U.S. researchers recently charted the predicted change in cyanobacteria populations in the arid soils of the North American continent over the next century: now this second team has begun to look at life in the sea.
 
 

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