A new center will study marine chemical microbial networks and climate change
The National Science Foundation announced the establishment of a new science and technology center that will carry out research, education, and outreach activities to promote a deeper understanding and understanding of the chemicals and chemical processes that support marine ecosystems.
this Microbial Planet Chemical Currency Center, And 13 partners including Columbia University’s Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory are one of six centers NSF announced today. These include a Independent Columbia Center Use big data and artificial intelligence to simulate the future climate. NSF has initially promised to provide five years of support, and may continue to provide five years of support.
At a time when the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased and the global temperature rose sharply, the center “focused on bringing rapid and transformative advances in our understanding of ocean carbon cycle molecules, which make up a quarter of the organic matter on Earth. Carbon flux,” said Lamont-Doherty Biooceanologist Sonia Dillman, The co-lead researcher of the project. The center will support interdisciplinary scientific teams to study the properties and dynamics of molecules that act as “currency” for element transfer within marine microbial communities and between the ocean and the atmosphere.
The project will be led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the University of Georgia.Richard Murray, deputy director of Woods Hole, said the new center “will undoubtedly have a big impact. [throughout] Consider the breadth of interdisciplinary research, including biology, chemistry, modeling, and informatics. “
It is important to better understand the carbon flux of the ocean, because the large amount of carbon produced by photosynthesis on the earth participates in a rapid cycle in which biologically active molecules are released into the seawater and converted back to inorganic forms by marine bacteria. This will happen in a few hours to a few days.
The core mechanism of this rapid cycle is the chemical microbial network, which links the production, release and consumption of the dissolved molecules of microorganisms on the ocean surface. These processes can include the maintenance of growth substrates and vitamins that support the mixed microbial communities that support marine surface ecosystems. However, the control of this network and its connection with deep-sea carbon storage is not yet clear. Therefore, its sensitivity to changing ocean conditions is also unknown, and its response to future climate scenarios cannot be predicted.
“If we don’t know the ability of this chemical microbial network to adapt to climate change, we have missed a very basic mechanism of how the earth works,” said Elizabeth Kujavinsky, a senior scientist at Woods Hole and director of the center. central. “The ocean is already changing, and we don’t have time to wait to understand these basic issues.”
The center will use emerging tools and technologies, including advanced chemical tools to isolate and identify molecules produced by marine microorganisms; molecular biology tools that link physiology to the functions of microbiota; and new informatics tools to make use of existing Data sets of marine microorganisms and environmental parameters.
Another focus of the center will be efforts to improve the marine knowledge of students of all ages and expand the diversity of the workforce in the field of marine science.
Participating institutions of the center also include the Marine Biology Laboratory of the University of Virginia, Bermuda Institute of Marine Science, Stanford University, Boston College, Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley University ,Florida.
Adapted from a press release from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.