Don’t forget the microbes, warn researchers


While the world focusses on the big-ticket items of climate change like renewable energy, emissions and pollution, a group of scientists have called for more attentioned to be paid to microbial actors in the climate debate.

The international scientific team, with members from the University of New South Wales and Western Sydney University, have called on a renewed focus on ‘microbial literacy’ and a broader public understanding of the ‘essential function’ of microbes and their role in every life process.

“Climate change expands the number and geographic range of vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks that carry disease-causing pathogens. The end result is the increased spread of disease, and serious threats to global food security, population health and environmental sustainability,” Professor Rick Cavicchioli, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, lead author of the paper said.

The team argued that more attention must be paid to microbial actors as they react to a warming climate.

“Climate change policies invariably do not consider deeply the role played by microbes”, said Prof Brajesh Singh, Microbial Ecologist at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and Director of the Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation at Western Sydney University.

More information on the study can be found here

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