Today at Berkeley Lab

Microbial Communities Important to Long-Term Soil Carbon Predictions

A recent study by Earth & Environmental Sciences Area scientists — which appears in the journal Nature Communications — shows that accounting for microbial community regulation within Earth system models could help improve long-term predictions of how carbon within soils will respond to changes in precipitation, temperature, or land use in the long run. More>

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Lab Researchers Use Fiber Optic Cables for Earthquake Detection

A team led by Jonathan Ajo-Franklin of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area has shown for the first time that dark fiber — the vast network of unused fiber optic cables installed throughout the country and the world — can be used as sensors for detecting earthquakes, the presence of groundwater, changes in permafrost conditions, and a variety of other subsurface activity. More>

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Lab Co-Hosts Workshop on California Water Data

Experts in water resource management and policy gathered on Nov. 29 to discuss the need for open and transparent water data in California. Nearly 100 people attended the workshop, hosted by the Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area working with UC Water, the California Council on Science and Technology, and the Department of Water Resources for California. More>

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Neslihan Taş Featured in The Scientist

The December issue of The Scientist discusses how work done by Neslihan Taş of the Climate & Ecosystem Sciences Division will help predict how the Arctic is responding to climate change – and the global effects of those changes. More>

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Research Becomes Reality in Study of Fire Impact on Sonoma’s Water

Susan Hubbard, ALD of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, has spent a decade studying Sonoma County’s riverbank infiltration system. She and Michelle Newcomer (EESA) were turning their attention to investigating how extreme events, such as storms and wildfires, affect the groundwater, when disaster struck last month. Now their research has become even more critical. More>

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Lab Takes Home Four R&D 100 Awards for Cutting-Edge Technologies

Technologies that help determine how solar energy affects the grid, benchmark energy savings for low-carbon cities, understand the functions of genes in microbes under different environmental conditions, and simulate how chemical reactions occur and change as fluids travel underground — all developed by researchers at Berkeley Lab — have received annual R&D 100 awards. More>

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Study Looks at Seawater Chemistry and Ocean-to-Earth Element Exchange

New research from scientists with the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area and UC Berkeley indicates that changes in the composition of seawater during the past 500 million years may have previously unrecognized effects on the composition of hydrothermal fluids flowing back into the oceans throughout millions of years. More>

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Lab’s Holman Explains Sweat-Eating Microbes for Student Science Publication

Researchers thought archaea preferred extreme environments, but are finding they are everywhere, even on skin. “Some of these weird microbes like our sweat,” explains Hoi-Ying Holman of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. She uses the Advanced Light Source to study to archaea, and was part of a new study showing the cells seem to prefer children and the elderly. More>

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EESA’s Kennedy Receives Geothermal Special Achievement Award

Mack Kennedy of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area received a special achievement award from the Geothermal Resources Council in recognition of his dedication to developing science and engineering for enhanced geothermal systems. Kennedy, an early proponent of geothermal experimental sites, now helps co-lead activities at a site in Fallon, Nev. for the DOE FORGE project. More>

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Lab Researchers Help Map the Microbiome of Everything

Eric Dubinsky, Neslihan Tas, and Shi Wang are among the more than 300 scientists from 160 institutions worldwide who contributed to the Earth Microbiome Project, a collaborative effort to characterize the planet’s microbial life. Their effort to generate the first reference database of bacteria colonizing the planet is described in a new paper in Nature. More>

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