Los Angeles Times

Why tiny microbes may be a big factor in how climate change unfolds

Climate change is about big things: melting ice sheets, rising seas, the feverish temperature of the planet.

But scientists say it's also about little things - namely, microbes.

Everywhere you look on Earth, you'll find these single-celled organisms making a living. And in the process, they produce and consume greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, helping to control the concentration of these planet-warming substances in the atmosphere. Collectively, they play an enormous role in regulating the climate.

They are also the glue that holds ecosystems together. They often form the base of the food web and perform critical duties, such as breaking

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