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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.

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.

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.

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.

Berkeley Scientists Use Robots to Probe Biological Secrets of the Ocean’s Carbon Cycle

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Follow Berkeley scientists on a 10-day research voyage off the California coast as they test robotic floats in studies of the ocean’s biological carbon pump. Robotic measurements at sea are promising sources of data that could be used to better understand climate change. Follow along as a Lab science writer blogs daily about the trip.  Go here

Berkeley Lab Participates in New National Microbiome Initiative

ThepotentialimpactofaunifiedMicrobiomeinitiativetounderstandandresponsiblyharnesstheactivitiesofmicrobial communities. (Credit: Diana Swantek, Berkeley Lab)

The initiative will advance the understanding of microbiome behavior and enable the protection of healthy microbiomes, which are communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere. Microbiomes maintain the healthy function of diverse ecosystems, and they influence human health, climate change, and food security.

Scientists Part the Clouds on How Droplets Form

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A new Berkeley Lab study reveals that much more is happening at the microscopic level of cloud formation than previously thought. The findings could help improve the accuracy of climate change models.

Berkeley Lab Wins Seven 2015 R&D 100 Awards

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Berkeley Lab has won seven 2015 R&D 100 awards. This year’s winners include a high-capacity anode for rechargeable batteries, a technique to synthesize the lightest, strongest material ever made, and a new way to analyze and visualize mass spectrometry data.

Scientists Call for National Effort to Understand and Harness Earth’s Microbes for Health, Energy, Agriculture, and Environment

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To understand and harness the capabilities of Earth’s microbial ecosystems, nearly fifty scientists from Department of Energy national laboratories, universities, and research institutions propose a national effort called the Unified Microbiome Initiative.

A Simpler Way to Estimate the Feedback Between Permafrost Carbon and Climate

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Researchers led by a scientist from Berkeley Lab have developed a simple model of permafrost carbon based on direct observations. Their approach could help climate scientists evaluate how well permafrost dynamics are represented in the Earth system models used to predict climate change.