News Center

How Does Climate Change Affect Mountainous Watersheds That Give Us Our Water?

Ecologist Heidi Steltzer, a Fort Lewis College professor and member of the Department of Energy’s Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area (SFA) project led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, studies how reduced snowpack and earlier snowmelt caused by climate change impact water supply in high-mountain areas. She is a contributing lead author of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

Amazon Rainforest Absorbing Less Carbon Than Expected

Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry. How long will the Amazon rainforest continue to act as an effective carbon sink?

Berkeley Lab Project to Pinpoint Methane ‘Super Emitters’

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps about 30 times more heat than carbon dioxide, is commonly released from rice fields, dairies, landfills, and oil and gas facilities – all of which are plentiful in California. Now Berkeley Lab has been awarded $6 million by the state to find “super emitters” of methane in an effort to quantify and potentially mitigate methane emissions.

New Statistical Technique Finds La Nina Years More Favorable for Mountain Snowpack Than El Nino Years

When there are multiple factors at play in a situation that is itself changing, such as an El Nino winter in a changing climate, how can scientists figure out what is causing what? Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed an advanced statistical method for quantifying and visualizing changes in environmental systems and easily

Climate Scientists Partner with San Francisco to be Ready for Future Storms

Berkeley Lab climate experts have partnered with the City and County of San Francisco and Silvestrum Climate Associates to assess how climate change may influence the intensity of atmospheric rivers and associated precipitation, and how those changes may impact San Francisco and its infrastructure.

Sierra Snowpack Could Drop Significantly By End of Century

A future warmer world will almost certainly feature a decline in fresh water from the Sierra Nevada mountain snowpack. Now a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that analyzed the headwater regions of California’s 10 major reservoirs, representing nearly half of the state’s surface storage, found they could see on average a 79 percent drop in peak snowpack water volume by 2100.

Climate Simulations Project Wetter, Windier Hurricanes

New supercomputer simulations by climate scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown that climate change intensified the amount of rainfall in recent hurricanes such as Katrina, Irma, and Maria by 5 to 10 percent. They further found that if those hurricanes were to occur in a future world that is warmer than present, those storms would have even more rainfall and stronger winds.

Improving Climate Models to Account for Plant Behavior Yields ‘Goodish’ News

Climate scientists have not been properly accounting for what plants do at night, and that, it turns out, is a mistake. A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that plant nutrient uptake in the absence of photosynthesis affects greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

By Jove! Methane’s Effects on Sunlight Vary by Region

Scientists investigating how human-induced increases in atmospheric methane also increase the amount of solar energy absorbed by that gas in our climate system have discovered that this absorption is 10 times stronger over desert regions such as the Sahara Desert and Arabian Peninsula than elsewhere on Earth, and nearly three times more powerful in the presence of clouds.

Ecosystems Are Getting Greener in the Arctic

Researchers from Berkeley Lab have developed a new benchmark model that estimates changes in the proportion of the Earth’s surface where plant growth will no longer be limited by cold temperatures in the 21st century.