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Air microbiology is a scientific discipline that concerns the microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses, in the atmospheric air. It is a subdiscipline of environmental microbiology.
The extent to which the ocean acts as a sink and source of airborne particles to the atmosphere is unresolved. Here, the authors report high microbial loads over the tropical Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and propose islands as stepping stones for the transoceanic transport of terrestrial microbes..
Bioaerosols may be generated when bubbles break on the surface of water, but it is unclear if this mechanism works with soil-based microbes. Here, the authors show that soil bacteria may be transferred from the soil surface and dispersed by raindrops.
The global effect of human activities on Earth's microbiota has not yet been considered. Here, we identify potential trajectories of microbial change, and highlight knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to better understand how microbial communities across the globe will change in the future.