Climate Change and Nematodes

So, we know that climate change affects populations of mammals, fish, birds, and other “big” organisms, but what about the microscopic ones? Furthermore, how does the loss of microscopic organisms affect the rest of the Earth?

According to this article, a certain species of nematode (microscopic worms), Scottnema lindsayae, which lives in the soil deep underneath the snow of Antarctica is losing its home to a species that thrives in wet soil caused by rising temperatures in the poles. This may not seem important, until you consider that nematodes thrive on excess carbon that would otherwise contribute to the greenhouse effect. And, as it just so happens, Scottnema is a big consumer of excess carbon.

The scientist who’s made this discovery, Diana Wall, is calling for soil conservation on the same level as ocean and rainforest conservation. I have to agree with her on this one. With all the anxiety about climate change and what we can do about it at this stage, any little step we can take towards at least pausing the effects would be great.


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