Friday, Sep 25, 2020 | Last Update : 07:18 AM IST

185th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra128396397321434345 Andhra Pradesh6543855794745558 Tamil Nadu5636915082109076 Karnataka5485574446588331 Uttar Pradesh3742773076115366 Delhi2606232243755123 West Bengal2378692080424606 Odisha196888161044805 Telangana1792461481391070 Bihar174266159700878 Assam165582135141608 Kerala15445898720614 Gujarat1289491093113382 Rajasthan1227201023301352 Haryana118554984101177 Madhya Pradesh115361814752007 Punjab105220814752860 Chhatisgarh9562358833680 Jharkhand7643862945626 Jammu and Kashmir68614480791024 Uttarakhand4440432154501 Goa3055224347360 Puducherry2489519311467 Tripura2378616955245 Himachal Pradesh133869232125 Chandigarh109688342123 Manipur9537736959 Arunachal Pradesh8416607113 Nagaland5730459810 Meghalaya4733252838 Sikkim2447190529 Mizoram158510120
  Life   More Features  15 Nov 2019  Bacteria may contribute to global warming faster than contemporary times

Bacteria may contribute to global warming faster than contemporary times

ANI
Published : Nov 15, 2019, 12:15 pm IST
Updated : Nov 15, 2019, 12:15 pm IST

Studies reveal that bacteria may contribute more to climate change as planet heats up.

The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)
 The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

Washington: The manner in which bacteria and related organisms release carbon dioxide into the air can contribute to a rise in global warming faster than the current rate, according to new research. The research could help to inform more accurate models of future climate warming. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications.

As bacteria adapt to hotter temperatures, they speed up their respiration rate and release more carbon, potentially accelerating climate change. Bacteria and archaea, collectively known as prokaryotes, are present on every continent and makeup around half of the global biomass -- the total weight of all organisms on Earth.

 

Most prokaryotes perform respiration that uses energy and releases carbon dioxide -- just like we do when we breathe out. The amount of carbon dioxide released during a given time period depends on the prokaryote's respiration rate, which can change in response to temperature.

However, the exact relationship between temperature, respiration rate, and carbon output has been uncertain. Now, by bringing together a database of respiration rate changes according to temperature from 482 prokaryotes, researchers have found the majority will increase their carbon output in response to higher temperatures to a greater degree than previously thought.

 

Lead researcher Dr Samraat Pawar, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, said: "In the short term, on a scale of days to hours, individual prokaryotes will increase their metabolism and produce more carbon dioxide. However, there is still a maximum temperature at which their metabolism becomes inefficient.

"In the longer term, over years, these prokaryote communities will evolve to be more efficient at higher temperatures, allowing them to further increase their metabolism and their carbon output. The researchers compiled prokaryote responses to temperature changes from across the world and in all different conditions -- from salty Antarctic lakes below 0-degree Celcius to thermal pools above 120-degree Celsius.

 

They found that prokaryotes that usually operate in a medium temperature range -- below 45-degree Celcius -- show a strong response to changing temperature, increasing their respiration in both the short term (days to weeks) and long term (months to years).

Prokaryotes that operate in higher temperature ranges -- above 45-degree Celcius -- did not show such a response, but since they operate at such high temperatures, to begin with, they are unlikely to be impacted by climate change.

The short-term responses of medium-temperature prokaryotes to warming were larger than those reported for eukaryotes -- organisms with more complex cells, including all plants, fungi, and animals. Lead author of the new research, PhD student Thomas Smith from the Department of Life Sciences, said: "Most climate models assume that all organisms' respiration rates respond to temperature in the same way, but our study shows that bacteria and archaea are likely to depart from the 'global average'.

 

"Importantly for future climate predictions, we would also like to know how the numbers of prokaryotes, and their abundance within local ecosystems, might change with increasing temperatures."

Tags: climate change, global warming, ecosystem, bacteria