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Posts Tagged ‘Earth sciences’

A New Species in the Amazon Rain Forest – Scientists

February 27, 2014

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.

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Berkeley Lab-led Project Aims to Produce Liquid Transportation Fuel from Methane

January 15, 2014

How’s this for innovative: A Berkeley Lab-led team hopes to engineer a new enzyme that efficiently converts methane to liquid transportation fuel. “There’s a lot of methane available, and we want to develop a new way to harness it as an energy source for vehicles,” says Christer Jansson, a biochemist who heads the effort.

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New Berkeley Lab Subsurface SFA 2.0 Project Explores Uncharted Environmental Frontier of Subsurface Ecogenomics

October 1, 2013

The key to a better understanding of the carbon cycle, the flow of contaminants, even the sustainable growth of biofuel crops, starts with the ground beneath your feet. A new Berkeley Lab-led project will develop a predictive understanding of how the genomic functions of subsurface microbiomes affect watershed-scale biogeochemical processes.

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Berkeley Lab Climate Scientists See Better Climate Models, Warmer Future

September 27, 2013

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.

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JBEI Technoeconomic Model: The Sequels

September 9, 2013

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.

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Computer Simulations Indicate Calcium Carbonate Has a Dense Liquid Phase

August 22, 2013

Computer simulations conducted at Berkeley Lab could help scientists make sense of a recently observed and puzzling wrinkle in one of nature’s most important chemical processes. It turns out that calcium carbonate—the ubiquitous compound that is a major component of seashells, limestone, concrete, antacids and myriad other substances—may momentarily exist in liquid form as it crystallizes from solution.

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Biological Soil Crust Secrets Uncovered

June 14, 2013

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.

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New Study: As Climate Changes, Boreal Forests to Shift North and Relinquish More Carbon Than Expected

May 5, 2013

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.

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Meeting the Computing Challenges of Next-Generation Climate Models

March 26, 2013

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.

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The Science of Clouds—Why They Matter, and Why There May be Fewer of Them

March 13, 2013

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.

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