Diverse microbes are key to healthy soil. Climate change is threatening that
Many potential effects of climate change on humans, wildlife, and plants are relatively well-understood. Higher temperatures and extreme weather events can lead to food insecurity, loss of habitats, and the decline or extinction of species of living things. However, it’s also important to discuss how climate change can affect microorganisms or the tiny living things found everywhere on the planet that the naked eye can’t see.
Microorganisms are the earliest known life forms on Earth. They play a critical role in ecological processes like the decomposition of organic matter, nutrient recycling, soil aggregation, and even the control of pathogens. Their abundance and diversity help maintain a stable and healthy global ecosystem. However, if microbial diversity were to change, the ability of other organisms to respond to climate change may be affected, too.