Archive for climate change
A team of Berkeley Lab researchers has performed molecular level analysis of desert biological soil crusts to reveal how long-dormant cyanobacteria become activated by rainfall then resume dormancy when the precipitation stops.
New Study: As Climate Changes, Boreal Forests to Shift North and Relinquish More Carbon Than Expected
It’s difficult to imagine how a degree or two of warming will affect a location. Will it rain less? What will happen to the area’s vegetation? New Berkeley Lab research offers a way to envision a warmer future. It maps how Earth’s myriad climates—and the ecosystems that depend on them—will move from one area to another as global temperatures rise. The approach foresees big changes for one of the planet’s great carbon sponges. Boreal forests will likely shift north at a steady clip this century. Along the way, the vegetation will relinquish more trapped carbon than most current climate models predict.
Berkeley Lab recently hosted an international workshop that brought together top climatologists, computer scientists and engineers from Japan and the United States to exchange ideas for the next generation of climate models as well as the hyper-performance computing environments that will be needed to process the data from those models. It was the 15th in a series of such workshops that have been taking place around the world since 1999.
Clouds can both cool the planet, by acting as a shield against the sun, and warm the planet, by trapping heat. But why do clouds behave the way they do? And how will a warming planet affect the cloud cover? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist David Romps has made it his mission to answer these questions.
Scientist Jeffrey Chambers and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have devised an analytical method that combines satellite images, simulation modeling and painstaking fieldwork to help researchers detect forest mortality patterns and trends. This new tool will enhance understanding of the role of forests in carbon sequestration and the impact of climate change on such disturbances.
A group of researchers that includes scientists from Berkeley Lab have developed a new way to explore the little-known world of permafrost soils, which store almost as much carbon as the rest of the world’s soils and about twice as much as is in the atmosphere. The new approach combines several remote-sensing tools to study the Arctic landscape, above and below ground, in high resolution and over large spatial scales.
At the southern tip of Australia, Berkeley Lab scientists are helping to verify that depleted natural gas reservoirs can be repurposed for use as geologic carbon sequestration sites. In Mississippi, they’re exploring whether it’s possible to produce electricity from the Earth’s heat using CO2, as well as store some of the CO2 permanently underground. Many other geologic [...]
If you think it’s been unusually hot lately, just wait—by the end of the century, temperatures in California are expected to rise significantly. Looking at a range of future climate scenarios, Larry Dale, an economist at Berkeley Lab, found that California may need as much as 30 to 40 percent more generation and transmission capacity per capita by the end of the century because of the negative effect of higher temperatures on equipment performance.