Microbial community composition of the Antarctic ecosystems



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Microbial community composition of the Antarctic ecosystems

Microbial Community Composition of the Antarctic Ecosystems: Review of the Bacteria, Fungi, and Archaea Identified through an NGS-Based Metagenomics Approach, study published on Life, focuses on a detail concerning Antarctica.

Researchers said: "Antarctica is close to a critical point: this is revealed by the map of changes in the temperatures of the Southern Ocean covering the last 45 million years. The data, in fact, indicate that further melting of the ice could cause a catastrophic rise in sea level, which could rise by as much as 50 meters.

The map, obtained thanks to microfossils of single molecules and Artificial Intelligence (AI), also confirms the recent predictions on the planet's 16 special guarded points, which include the disappearance of the Antarctic ice shelves among the five events closest to the point of no return.

due to rising temperatures. " Meanwhile, as we wrote a few days ago, Antarctica is close to a critical point: this is revealed by the map of changes in the temperatures of the Southern Ocean covering the last 45 million years.

The data, in fact, indicate that further melting of the ice could cause a catastrophic rise in sea level, which could rise by as much as 50 meters. The map, obtained thanks to microfossils of single molecules and Artificial Intelligence, also confirms the recent predictions on the planet's 16 special guarded points, which include the disappearance of the Antarctic ice shelves among the five events closest to the point of no return due to rising temperatures.

The researchers examined samples collected during ocean drilling projects, looking for fossils of small lipid (fat) molecules produced by organisms similar to bacteria and consisting of a single cell, the archaea. These organisms, in fact, change the composition of their outer membrane in response to changes in sea temperature: by studying these changes, therefore, it is possible to reconstruct the temperature of the water at the time of their death.

The authors of the study then combined this methodology, widely used by paleoclimatologists, with machine learning techniques, taking it to a higher level and obtaining a complete and precise map of a large part of the Cenozoic Era.

The result obtained has made it possible to identify more accurately the historical temperatures that have caused the growth and shrinkage of the ice sheets during the last 45 million years. James Bendle of the University of Birmingham, co-author of the study: "The log we produced offers a much more comprehensive overview of Antarctic temperature fluctuations, and how these relate to changes in the amount of ice and topography of Antarctica. This paves the way for even more accurate predictions for events that may occur in the future."