In recent years, global temperatures have been rising. According to Climate Change 2023, released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in March, human activities have already caused a 1.1°C rise in global temperatures. In the past decade the Earth has been warmer than at any time in 125,000 years.
Global temperature rise will be resulting in glaciers melting, rising sea levels increasing and many other problems. In addition, for every 0.5°C rise in global temperature, extreme heat, heavy rainfall and regional droughts and other climate problems will become more frequent and more severe. This poses an enormous threat to the Earth's ecology and human development.
The greenhouse effect resulting from the massive emission of greenhouse gases is one of the main culprits of global warming. Since the Industrial Revolution, global carbon dioxide emissions have increased dramatically, currently averaging more than 10 billion tons per year.
The burning of fossil fuels including oil, coal, and natural gas is currently the main source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Reducing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil, and natural gas has become the third most promising measure to address the greenhouse effect.
Energy supply sites, such as thermal power plants, currently rely on the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity, and annual thermal power generation is estimated to produce about 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide, exacerbating the increasingly serious greenhouse effect.
HOW TO mitigate the green house effect?
Cyanobacteria are good carbon sequestering microorganisms that can directly utilize sunlight to absorb carbon dioxide for carbon sequestration. They can also be genetically modified to produce a number of products. We have modified Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to produce lactate.
Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 utilize lactic acid as a carbon source and extracellular electron transfer to generate electricity to construct the Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), which are promising for bioelectricity generation.
We are trying to construct a mutualistic system between cyanobacteria and Shewanella, in which the cyanobacteria produce lactate to provide carbon for Shewanella, fixing carbon dioxide and increasing power generation to alleviate the climate and energy crises.
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