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Not All Cool Pavements Are Created Equal

Cool pavements can help keep cities cool, right? Yes, but according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, more reflective pavements have some unexpected drawbacks relative to conventional pavements when considering the entire life cycle of the materials.

Study: Soils Could Release Much More Carbon Than Expected as Climate Warms

Soils could release much more CO2 than expected into the atmosphere as the climate warms. The findings are based on a field experiment that explored what happens to organic carbon trapped in soil when all soil layers are warmed, which in this case extend to a depth of 100 centimeters.

Researchers Catch Extreme Waves with High-Resolution Modeling

A new Berkeley Lab study shows that high-resolution models captured hurricanes and big waves that low-resolution ones missed. Better extreme wave forecasts are important for coastal cities, the military, the shipping industry, and surfers.

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

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

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

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

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

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 

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

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.