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Computer Sims: In Climatic Tug of War, Carbon Released From Thawing Permafrost Wins Handily


There will be a lot more carbon released from thawing permafrost than the amount taken in by more Arctic vegetation, according to new computer simulations conducted by Berkeley Lab scientists.

A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2

Manganese-based MOF

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.

A New Level of Earthquake Understanding

Martin Kunz SA fault Feature

Working at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), researchers studied quartz from the San Andreas Fault at the microscopic scale, the scale at which earthquake-triggering stresses originate. The results could one day lead to a better understanding of earthquake events.

First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface

The scientists used incredibly precise spectroscopic instruments at two sites operated by the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility. This research site is on the North Slope of Alaska near the town of Barrow. They also collected data from a site in Oklahoma. (Credit: Jonathan Gero)

Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at the Earth’s surface for the first time. The researchers, led by Berkeley Lab scientists, measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows


Two Berkeley Lab scientists, climate scientist William Collins and chemist Heinz Frei, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2014.

New Research Quantifies Health Benefits of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), which result from the burning of fossil fuels, also reduces the incidence of health problems from particulate matter in these emissions, according to Berkeley Lab researchers and colleagues. They calculated that the economic benefit of reduced health impacts from GHG reduction strategies in the U.S. range between $6 and $14 billion annually in 2020, depending on how the reductions are accomplished.

As Temperatures Rise, Soil Will Relinquish Less Carbon to the Atmosphere Than Currently Predicted


Today’s climate models probably overestimate the amount of carbon that will be released from soil into the atmosphere as global temperatures rise. The findings are from a new computer model that explores the feedbacks between soil carbon and climate change. It is the first such model to include a realistic representation of microbial interactions.

Lightning Expected to Increase by 50 Percent with Global Warming

lightning maps

Today’s climate models predict a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes across the United States during this century as a result of warming temperatures associated with climate change.

Berkeley Lab on U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change


On Nov. 11, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping made a historic U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change outlining each country’s commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation on climate change and to announce post-2020 actions in support of the effort to transition to low-carbon economies. Regarding China’s announced target of peaking of carbon

Latest Supercomputers Enable High-Resolution Climate Models, Truer Simulation of Extreme Weather

Wehner visualization

Not long ago, it would have taken several years to run a high-resolution simulation on a global climate model. But using some of the most powerful supercomputers now available, Berkeley Lab climate scientist Michael Wehner was able to complete a run in just three months. What he found was that not only were the simulations much closer to actual observations, but the high-resolution models were far better at reproducing intense storms, such as hurricanes and cyclones.