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$5M Foundation Gift to Help Support US-China Energy Center at Berkeley Lab

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In 2015, Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and Tsinghua University in Beijing formed the Berkeley Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change to develop scientifically based clean energy solutions and the next generation of leaders to champion those solutions. Now, that effort has received welcome support from Jim and Marilyn Simons in the amount of a $5 million donation.

Bay Area Methane Emissions May Be Double What We Thought

Researchers Marc Fischer (right) and Seongeun Jeong worked on quantifying emissions in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

Emissions of methane, a potent climate-warming gas, in the San Francisco Bay Area may be roughly twice as high as official estimates, with most of it coming from biological sources, such as landfills, but natural gas leakage also being an important source, according to a new study from Berkeley Lab.

New Leaf Study Sheds Light on ‘Shady’ Past

Photo - A rainforest canopy in the area of Kuranda in Queensland, Australia. (Credit: certified_su/Flickr)

A new study led by a Berkeley Lab research scientist highlights a literally shady practice in plant science that has in some cases underestimated plants’ rate of growth and photosynthesis, among other traits.

Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

Research exploring how warming will alter the treeline

Scientists expect trees will advance upslope as global temperatures increase, shifting the tree line—the mountain zone where trees become smaller and eventually stop growing—to higher elevations. But new research suggests this may not hold true for two subalpine tree species of western North America.

Scientists Measure Pulse of CO2 Emissions During Spring Thaw in the Arctic

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Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory documented a spring pulse in northern Alaska in 2014 that included CO2 emissions equivalent to 46 percent of the net CO2 that is absorbed in the summer months and methane emissions that added 6 percent to summer fluxes. What’s more, recent climate trends may make such emissions more frequent, the scientists conclude.

Glowing Crystals Can Detect, Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

Researchers have developed a specialized type of glowing metal organic framework, or LMOF (molecular structure at center), that is designed to detect and remove heavy-metal toxins from water. At upper left, mercury (HG2+) is trapped by the LMOF. The graph at lower left shows how the glowing property, known as fluorescence, is turned off as the LMOF binds up the mercury. Its properties make this LMOF useful for both detecting and trapping heavy-metal toxins. (Credit: Rutgers University)

Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a team of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that can detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

Study: Carbon-Hungry Plants Impede Growth Rate of Atmospheric CO2 

Computer models suggest that tropical and high-latitude ecosystems increased their carbon uptake in recent years because of an uptick in photosynthesis.

New findings suggest the rate at which CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere has plateaued in recent years because Earth’s vegetation is grabbing more carbon from the air than in previous decades.

Berkeley Lab Takes Home Five R&D 100 Awards for Environmental, Battery, and X-ray Technologies

Photo - The Compact Dynamic Beamstop (CDBS) device, at left, designed to provide real time information to improve X-ray crystallography experiments, with a size comparison to a ballpoint pen tip. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Berkeley Lab-developed tech enabling energy-saving roofs, long-lived batteries, better data from X-ray experiments, safer drinking water, and reduced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have received 2016 R&D 100 awards.

New Bacteria Groups, and Stunning Diversity, Discovered Underground

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One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life.

Underground Science: Berkeley Lab Digs Deep For Clean Energy Solutions

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About a mile beneath the Earth’s surface in an old gold mine, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have built an observatory to study how rocks crack. The knowledge they gain could ultimately help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies.