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Showing posts from May 18, 2016

Tiny ocean organism has big role in climate regulation

by Staff Writers
Exeter, UK (SPX) May 18, 2016

This is a rosette going into the water in Bermuda to sample SAR11. Image courtesy Ben Temperton. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Scientists have discovered that a tiny, yet plentiful, ocean organism is playing an important role in the regulation of the Earth's climate. Research, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, has found that the bacterial group Pelagibacterales, thought to be among the most abundant organisms on Earth, comprising up to half a million microbial cells found in every teaspoon of seawater, plays an important function in the stabilisation of the Earth's atmosphere.

Dr Ben Temperton, lecturer in the department of Biosciences at the University of Exeter, was a member of the international team of researchers that has for the first time identified Pelagibacterales as a likely source for the production of dimethylsulfide (DMS), which is known to stimulate cloud formation, and is integral to a ne…