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

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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.

Berkeley Lab Scientists ID New Driver Behind Arctic Warming

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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.

New Project is the ACME of Addressing Climate Change

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Eight Department of Energy national laboratories, including Berkeley Lab, are combining forces with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and other institutions in a project called Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, or ACME, which is designed to accelerate the development and application of fully coupled, state-of-the-science Earth system models for scientific and energy applications.

Air Quality in San Joaquin Valley Improving: Study Shows Controls to Reduce Nitrogen Oxide Emissions Are Working

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A study led by Berkeley Lab’s Ronald Cohen has shown that nitrogen oxide emission controls are improving the notorious air quality in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Taking the Temperature of Deep Geothermal Reservoirs

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A lot can happen to water as it rises to the surface from deep underground. It can mix with groundwater, for example. This makes it difficult for scientists to estimate the temperature of a geothermal reservoir, which is an important step as they decide whether a site merits further exploration as a source of clean,

How Beach Microbes Responded to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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In June, 2010, two months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Regina Lamendella collected samples along a hard-hit beach near Grand Isle, Louisiana. She was part of a team of Berkeley Lab researchers that wanted to know how the microbes along the shoreline were responding to the spill. Some microorganisms love to consume hydrocarbons, and

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

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.

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

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.

Computer Simulations Indicate Calcium Carbonate Has a Dense Liquid Phase

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.

Biological Soil Crust Secrets Uncovered

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.