By the end of this century climate change will result in more frequent and more extreme heat, more drought, and fewer extremes in cold weather in the United States. Average high temperatures could climb as much as 10 or more degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the country. These are some of the projections made by Berkeley Lab climate scientist Michael Wehner and his co-authors on the National Climate Assessment (NCA).
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.
Michael Wehner, a climate scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, and William Collins, head of the Lab’s Climate Sciences Department, were lead authors on the IPCC report’s chapters on long-term climate change projections and climate models, respectively. They are among more than 200 lead authors from more than 30 countries in IPCC’s Working Group I. Their report released today provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change.
JBEI researchers are developing wiki-based technoeconomic models to help accelerate the development of next generation biofuels that are economically competitive with petroleum-based fuels.
A team of Berkeley Lab researchers has performed molecular level analysis of desert biological soil crusts – living ground cover formed by microbial communities – to reveal how long-dormant cyanobacteria become activated by rainfall then resume dormancy when the precipitation stops.
New Study: As Climate Changes, Boreal Forests to Shift North and Relinquish More Carbon Than Expected
New Berkeley Lab research maps how Earth’s myriad climates—and the ecosystems that depend on them—will move from one area to another as global temperatures rise. The approach foresees big changes for one of the planet’s great carbon sponges. Boreal forests will likely shift north at a steady clip this century. Along the way, the vegetation will relinquish more trapped carbon than most current climate models predict.
Berkeley Lab recently hosted an international workshop that brought together top climatologists, computer scientists and engineers from Japan and the United States to exchange ideas for the next generation of climate models as well as the hyper-performance computing environments that will be needed to process the data from those models. It was the 15th in a series of such workshops that have been taking place around the world since 1999.
Clouds can both cool the planet, by acting as a shield against the sun, and warm the planet, by trapping heat. But why do clouds behave the way they do? And how will a warming planet affect the cloud cover? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist David Romps has made it his mission to answer these questions.
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.
A group of researchers that includes scientists from Berkeley Lab have developed a new way to explore the little-known world of permafrost soils, which store almost as much carbon as the rest of the world’s soils and about twice as much as is in the atmosphere. The new approach combines several remote-sensing tools to study the Arctic landscape, above and below ground, in high resolution and over large spatial scales.