Now, a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology, "Incorporating Microbial Processes into Climate Models", offers a plan for integrating the latest understanding of the science of microbiology into climate models.
"Climate scientists and microbiologists usually work in isolation from each other, and yet their work is intimately connected. Microbes are critical players in every geochemical cycle relevant to climate. The sum total of microbial activity is enormous, but the net effect of microbes on climate-relevant gases is currently not known," says Edward DeLong of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who co-chaired the report with Caroline Harwood of the University of Washington.
The past two decades have witnessed an explosion in scientific recognition of the diversity of the microbial world. New DNA-sequencing technologies spurred by the Human Genome Project have made it technically and economically possible to sequence the collective DNA from whole microbial communities. This approach, called metagenomics, has revealed a previously undreamed-of degree of diversity in the microbial world. These microbial community analyses many "'omics" approaches, such as proteomics and metabolomics, that together provide a detailed picture of community function, potential and change over time.
The report is based on a colloquium convened by the Academy in 2011. Experts in diverse disciplines in microbiology as well as computational and climate modeling participated in the meeting designed to identify specific efforts and activities that will lead to improved integration of microbial biology, biogeochemistry, and climate modeling.
"While the gap between these disciplines is daunting, the need to bridge it is urgent and the science and technology needed to begin to do so is within reach," says Harwood.
The report suggests a multipronged approach, breaking the challenge into manageable parts. The first recommendation is to choose a few specific biogeochemical cycles that are important, microbially driven and tractable to serve as demonstration projects. Specifically, the report identifies methane, carbon storage and nitrous oxide.
Other recommendations include:
Assess current data collection methodologies and develop a monitoring/data collection strategy
Implement validation processes to integrate data collection, modeling and experimentation
Facilitate and provide incentives for collaborations and interdisciplinary training
Address technology needs
"There is clear evidence that microbes can have an enormous impact on climate. In light of the increasingly urgent need to understand and find ways to mitigate climate change, the centrality of microbes in global biogeochemical cycles, can no longer be ignored," says DeLong.
A full copy of the report and more detailed recommendations can be found on the Academy website at http://bit.ly/aamclimate.
The American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientific excellence, as well as foster knowledge and understanding in the microbiological sciences. A full list of Academy colloquia reports can be found at http://academy.asm.org/colloquia.
Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses