Scientists discovered that coffee berry borers worldwide share 14 bacterial species in their digestive tracts that degrade and detoxify caffeine. They also found the most prevalent of these bacteria has a gene that helps break down caffeine. Their research sheds light on the ecology of the destructive bug and could lead to new ways to fight it.
Tropical forests play major roles in regulating Earth’s climate, but there are large uncertainties over how they’ll respond over the next 100 years as the planet’s climate warms. A multi-institutional project led by Berkeley Lab, called NGEE-Tropics, will combine field research with model development to represent how tropical forests interact with Earth’s climate in much greater ecological detail than ever before.
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.
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.
Scientists have identified a mechanism that could turn out to be a big contributor to warming in the Arctic and melting sea ice. They found that open oceans are much less efficient than sea ice when it comes to emitting in the far-infrared region of the spectrum, a previously unknown phenomenon that is likely contributing to the warming of the polar climate.