Global change

Industrialization, urbanization, progress in modern medicine and technological innovations shape our environment and the way we live our lives. However, besides exciting advances, this global change has negative economic, ecological and social effects. What role do microorganisms have in this global challenge? Climate change can affect microbial community structure and function in the ocean and soil and change host-microbiota interactions with potentially severe consequences for food production, carbon cycling and disease spread. By contrast, microorganisms could also be used to mitigate the effects of climate change. An integrated and informed approach is required to scale up our global response to climate change. In this article series, Nature Reviews Microbiology addresses the relationship between microorganisms and global change, and considers the wider environmental and health challenges.

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