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Global change microbiology — big questions about small life for our future

Planet Earth, our blue-green spaceship, is under anthropogenic pressure, causing long-lasting or even irreversible changes to its passengers and their habitats. Given the emerging knowledge of how single-cell life shapes all multicellular life and Earth as a whole, it is important to consider the microbial roles in the future path of our spaceship. Global change microbiology is a rapidly growing research field on microbial responses to global warming, overuse and pollution and on feedback mechanisms and functions that affect Earth’s element cycles and planetary health. This field will provide essential knowledge for navigating our spaceship into a sustainable future.

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The author declares no competing interests.

Correspondence to Antje Boetius.

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