News Center

Global Methane Emissions Soaring, But How Much Was Due to Wetlands?

A Q&A with Berkeley Lab scientist William Riley on the challenges in estimating methane emissions from wetlands and how nuanced computer models may help

Scientists Say: Expect More Rainfall Variability for California

California’s winter precipitation is expected to become 50% more variable by century’s end, based on a Berkeley Lab-led study of the impact of future greenhouse gas emissions on the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a rainfall pattern that covers a quarter of the globe. When active, the MJO influences whether precipitation occurs for 30 to 60 days,

The World’s Forests Are Growing Younger

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and 20 other institutions have found that land use and atmospheric changes are altering forest structure around the world, resulting in fewer of the mature trees that are better at storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The scientists evaluated data and observations from more than 160 previous studies designed to capture

Smart Farms of the Future: Making Bioenergy Crops More Environmentally Friendly

Farmers have enough worries – between bad weather, rising costs, and shifting market demands – without having to stress about the carbon footprint of their operations. But now a new set of projects by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory could make agriculture both more sustainable and more profitable.

Using Machine Learning to Estimate COVID-19’s Seasonal Cycle

One of the many unanswered scientific questions about COVID-19 is whether it is seasonal like the flu – waning in warm summer months then resurging in the fall and winter. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are launching a project to apply machine-learning methods to a plethora of health and environmental datasets, combined with high-resolution climate models and seasonal forecasts, to tease out the answer.

Uncertain Climate Future Could Disrupt Energy Systems

Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts.

Climate Change Expected to Shift Location of East Asian Monsoons

More than a billion people in Asia depend on seasonal monsoons for their water needs. The Asian monsoon is closely linked to a planetary-scale tropical air flow which, according to a new study by Berkeley Lab, will most likely shift geographically as the climate continues to warm, resulting in less rainfall in certain regions.

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.