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$5M Foundation Gift to Help Support US-China Energy Center at Berkeley Lab

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In 2015, Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and Tsinghua University in Beijing formed the Berkeley Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change to develop scientifically based clean energy solutions and the next generation of leaders to champion those solutions. Now, that effort has received welcome support from Jim and Marilyn Simons in the amount of a $5 million donation.

Bay Area Methane Emissions May Be Double What We Thought

Researchers Marc Fischer (right) and Seongeun Jeong worked on quantifying emissions in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

Emissions of methane, a potent climate-warming gas, in the San Francisco Bay Area may be roughly twice as high as official estimates, with most of it coming from biological sources, such as landfills, but natural gas leakage also being an important source, according to a new study from Berkeley Lab.

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.

Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

Research exploring how warming will alter the treeline

Scientists expect trees will advance upslope as global temperatures increase, shifting the tree line—the mountain zone where trees become smaller and eventually stop growing—to higher elevations. But new research suggests this may not hold true for two subalpine tree species of western North America.

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.

New Bacteria Groups, and Stunning Diversity, Discovered Underground

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One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life.

Longest Record of Continuous Carbon Flux Data is Now Publicly Available

This map shows all of the tower sites around the world that contributed observations to the FLUXNET 2015 data release. Credit: http://fluxnet.fluxdata.org/

Around the world—from tundra to tropical forests, and a variety of ecosystems in between—environmental researchers have set up micrometeorological towers to monitor carbon, water, and energy fluxes, which are measurements of how carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor and energy (heat) circulate between the soil, plants and atmosphere. Most of these sites have been continuously collecting

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

Water-Energy Nexus New Focus of Berkeley Lab Research

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Billions of gallons of water are used each day in the United States for energy production—for hydroelectric power generation, thermoelectric plant cooling, and countless other industrial processes, including oil and gas mining. And huge amounts of energy are required to pump, treat, heat, and deliver water. This interdependence of water and energy is the focus of a major new research effort at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.