Now, scientists from the U.S., Sweden and Australia, claim to have evidence that a single species of microbe found in Sweden may be driving global warming.
The discovery could help scientists improve their simulations of climate change by including data on how microbes control the release of gases, such as methane.
Earlier this year, scientists found a single species of microbe in permafrost soils of northern Sweden that had begun to thaw under the effect of globally rising temperatures.
Researchers suspected that the microbe played a role in global warming by releasing vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost soil close to the Arctic Circle in the form of methane.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere.
But the actual role of this microbe - dubbed Methanoflorens stordalenmirensis, which roughly translates to 'methane-bloomer from the Stordalen Mire' - was unknown.Unfortunately, the article does not get into specifics of how much methane is being release or how it may have skewed the models. However, the article mentions that microbes releasing methane were responsible for the Great Dying--a mass extinction even approximately 250 million years ago.