MBL Director of Research David Mark Welch talked with Science Friday host Ira Flatow about the ubiquitous microbial world and its interactions with climate.
We may refer to Earth as “our planet,” but it really belongs to the microbes. All the plants and animals on Earth are relatively new additions to the planetary ecosystem. But despite living basically everywhere on the planet, and playing a role in many of the processes that affect the climate, the connection between microbes and the climate is often ignored.
Photo: In the arctic, microbial activity in previously frozen but now-thawing soil could release large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere, creating a feedback loop with global warming.This is Toolik Field Station in Alaska, site of the MBL-directed Long-Term Ecological Research project for the National Science Foundation.