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,

Geothermal Brines Could Propel California’s Green Economy

Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of the most valuable metals from the brine produced by the geothermal plants near the Salton Sea: lithium.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Receive DOE Early Career Research Awards

Three scientists at Berkeley Lab have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to receive significant funding for research through its Early Career Research Program (ECRP). In addition, three faculty scientists with joint appointments at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley will receive ECRP funding through their UC Berkeley affiliations.

Could the Answer to Groundwater Resources Come From High in the Sky?

A new computational approach developed by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers a high-tech yet simple method for estimating groundwater: it pairs high-resolution images derived by satellite with advanced computer modeling to estimate aquifer volume change from observed ground deformation.

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.

Using Fiber Optics to Advance Safe and Renewable Energy

Fiber optic cables, it turns out, can be incredibly useful scientific sensors. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have studied them for use in carbon sequestration, groundwater mapping, earthquake detection, and monitoring of Arctic permafrost thaw. Now they have been awarded new grants to develop fiber optics for two novel uses: monitoring offshore wind operations and underground natural gas storage.

Associate Lab Director Susan Hubbard Joins the National Academy of Engineering

Susan Hubbard, the Associate Laboratory Director of Berkeley Lab’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for her significant contributions to hydrogeophysics and biogeophysics, and to the geophysics of permafrost.