The Amazon Basin in South America includes the most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest on the planet, covering 5.5 million square kilometers. Due to the sheer size of the Amazon rainforest, the area has a strong impact on the climate in the Southern Hemisphere and is a primary driver of global atmospheric circulation. Berkeley Lab researchers joined Energy Department (DOE) officials and scientific collaborators from the United States, Brazil, and Germany, last week in Brazil to open a two-year field study in the Amazon Basin.
Somewhere between tossing Jonah overboard and hanging that albatross around the Ancient Mariner’s neck, sailors acquired a reputation for superstition. It takes a clear-headed oceanographer to resist joining them, especially after a string of bad luck at sea involving the number 13. Jim Bishop of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division (ESD), a professor in UC
Jeff Chambers’ path to the Amazon forest started 20 years ago in an unlikely place: Livermore, California. Since then, he has bushwhacked through dense woodland, traveled hundreds of miles down jungle rivers, had close encounters with the world’s most painful ant and near misses with deadly snakes—all in the name of science.
Scientist Jeffrey Chambers and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have devised an analytical method that combines satellite images, simulation modeling and painstaking fieldwork to help researchers detect forest mortality patterns and trends. This new tool will enhance understanding of the role of forests in carbon sequestration and the impact of climate change on such disturbances.
The Southern Ocean, circling the Earth between Antarctica and the southernmost regions of Africa, South America, and Australia, is notorious for its High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyl zones, areas otherwise rich in nutrients but poor in essential iron. Sea life is less abundant in these regions because the growth of phytoplankton, the marine plants that form
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are working on a wide variety of clean energy technologies—from biofuels to batteries to solar energy—but now these disparate efforts are being tied together with an in-depth and innovative analytical approach that will show which technologies are the most beneficial to pursue. The analysis will also give feedback to scientists before a technology hits the marketplace, allowing them to adjust and refine the technology so as to maximize its economic and environmental impact.
Carbon Explorers have produced detailed information on the carbon cycle in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans – information that would be unaffordable or even impossible to obtain from shipboard. Now a new breed of Carbon Flux Explorers not only measures day-by-day variations in biomass sediment, they can determine exactly what’s in each collected sample. Knowing what’s in the sediment, including what’s eating the detritus, adds essential knowledge for understanding the ocean carbon cycle.