Global warming impacts on marine microbial communities



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Global warming impacts on marine microbial communities

The predominant causes of Global Warming are to be found in human activity, due to the emissions into the earth's atmosphere of increasing quantities of greenhouse gases (with a consequent increase in the greenhouse effect) and to other factors that are always attributable to human activities.

The Kyoto protocol, signed in 1997 and which as of November 2009 counts the adhesion of 187 states, aims to reduce these greenhouse gases produced by man. The Paris Agreement, signed in November 2015, commits participating States to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels.

The research Impacts of global warming on marine microbial communities, published on the The Science of the total environment, said: "Global warming in ocean ecosystems alters temperature, acidification, oxygen content, circulation, stratification, and nutrient inputs.

Microorganisms play a dominant role in global biogeochemical cycles crucial for a planet's sustainability. Since microbial communities are highly dependent on the temperature factor, fluctuations in the same will lead to adverse effects on the microbial community organization.

Throughout the Ocean, increase in evaporation rates causes the surface mixed layer to become shallower. This intensified stratification inhibits vertical transport of nutrient supplies. Such density driven processes will decrease oxygen solubility in surface waters leading to significant decrease of oxygen from future Ocean.

Metabolism and diversity of microbes along with ocean biogeochemistry will be at great risk due to global warming and its related effects. As a response to the changes in temperature, alteration in the distribution of phytoplankta communities is observed all over the planet, creating changes in the primary production of the ocean causing massive impact on the biosphere.

Marine microbial communities try to adapt to the changing ocean environmental conditions by responding with biogeographic range shifts, community structure modifications, and adaptive evolution. Persistence of this climate change on ocean ecosystems, in future, will pose serious threat to the metabolism and distribution of marine microbes leading to fluctuations in the biogeochemical cycles thereby affecting the overall ecosystem functioning.

Genomics plays an important role in marine microbial research by providing tools to study the association between environment and organisms. The ecological and genomic perspectives of marine microbes are being investigated to design effective models to understand their physiology and evolution in a changing ocean.

Mesocosm/microcosm experimental studies and field studies are in the need of the hour to evaluate the impact of climate shifts on microbial genesis.