One of the many reasons why a melting planet is a dangerous one is bacteria that break down carbon in soil. Freezing temperatures keep soil carbon locked away from these hungry microbes, but as temperatures rise, that carbon gradually becomes accessible, sending the bacteria into a feeding frenzy and thereby sending harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To better understand how that process could play out, researchers analyzed soil from the Alaskan tundra. Surprisingly, a 2.2°C increase in temperature was enough to substantially boost microbial activity, with further warming only compounding that effect. The results serve as a grim warning: left unchecked, global warming could have a more profound impact on the health of the planet than previously anticipated.