Climate change refers to the global, long-term shift in climate patterns and increased average temperatures. These changes, apparent from the mid to late 20th century and onwards, are largely attributed to the increased use of fossil fuels which led to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that trap heat within the planet’s lower atmosphere.
Climate change is having an evident effect on the world we live in; ice is melting, sea levels are rising, habitats are being destroyed and people's livelihoods and communities are being disrupted. By being involved in many processes including the carbon and nitrogen cycles, microbes play a key role in many of these changes. However, they also present solutions that can help move towards a more sustainable future.
The Carbon Cycle
Learn more about the carbon cycle, which plays a key role in regulating Earth's global temperature and climate by controlling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrogenous gases, such as nitrous oxide, also play an important role in global climate change as they are extremely effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere.
What is bioremediation?
Bioremediation is the process of using micro-organisms to remove or degrade pollutants from the environment. Learn more about how microbes can help in this video.
Climate change policy briefing
Microbes as our allies
Micro-organisms infiltrate every corner of the built and natural worlds. Microbiology research deepens our understanding of the challenges we face and aids the development of policies to combat the consequences of climate change. You can read our new climate change briefing here.
Life on a Changing Planet
Microbiology Today May 2021
In this Issue of Microbiology Today, through each of our featured articles, the authors explore the chronic changes that have been inflicted on Earth's climate and how the microbial world has adapted, been impacted and how microbes could potentially offer solutions.
Climate change resources
Discover everything you need to know about the role microbiology plays in climate change, browse our resources and access some of the latest research in our journal collections.
Climate change case studies
Find a range of case studies from our Sustainable Future project that focus on Climate change.
Climate change resources and further reading
Find more resources focused on climate change from across our website.
Climate change journal content
Read through some of the articles found in our Society journals that focus on climate change.
Climate change blogs
Explore blogs, including Microbe Talks episodes, that include insights from members on the impact of climate change and how we can move towards a sustainable future.
Sustainable Future reports
In this news story, read about the three reports, published by the Microbiology Society, on the opportunities and challenges microbiology faces in areas of key sustainability.
Press release: does science have a plastic problem?
A group, based at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, developed an approach to reduce plastic waste produced by their lab.
Members in this field
Meet the microbiologists who work in this field.
What the community have to say
Dennis Kunkel Microscopy/Science Photo Library