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A recently discovered microbe from thawing Arctic permafrost could have a key role in how global warming plays out, according to research published in the journal Nature and reported at Phys.org.

The microbe, Methanoflorens stordalenmirensis, is a dominant species in the soils around thawing permafrost and “breathes out methane like we breathe out carbon dioxide," one researcher said.

Figuring out how much methane these microbes are capable of producing, and whether those capabilities are affected by changes in the microbes environment will help climate researchers improve climate change models, Phys.org reported.

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