Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Creates New ‘Earth and Environmental Sciences Area’

At first, this Area will steward the Earth Sciences Division, and the new Associate Laboratory Director will be charged with developing a new organizational structure that reflects the strategic plan they will create by working closely with the Area’s science community. More>

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In Climatic Tug of War, Carbon Released From Thawing Permafrost Wins

There’s a carbon showdown brewing in the Arctic as Earth’s climate changes. On one side, thawing permafrost could release enormous amounts of long-frozen carbon into the atmosphere. On the opposing side, as high-latitude regions warm, plants will grow more quickly, which means they’ll take in more carbon from the atmosphere. More>

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Earth Sciences Division Talk on Fossil Energy

On Tuesday, March 17th, the Earth Sciences Division will host a Distinguished Scientist Seminar featuring Julio Freidmann, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal in the Office of Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy. He will discuss the “Future of Fossil Energy in a Carbon Constrained World.” More>

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Highly Reactive Light-Dependent Monoterpenes Aid in Photosynthesis

A group of climate scientists headed by Earth Science Division’s Kolby Jardine and Jeff Chambers, along with Brazilian collaborators Antonio Manzi, Niro Higuchi, and graduate student Angela Jardine, sought to quantify monoterpenes in both ambient forest air and as emissions from leaves in relation to photosynthesis. More>

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Why Do Geysers Erupt? It Boils Down to Plumbing

A team led by earth scientist Michael Manga has gained striking new insights into the basic mechanics of geysers by placing surveillance cameras inside them and building a model of their plumbing. They show that the great regularity of a geyser’s eruptions is explained by kinks, or loops, in the geyser’s pipes, which trap steam. More>

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First Detailed Microscopy Evidence of Bacteria at Lower Size Limit of Life

Scientists — including the Lab’s Jill Banfield, Susannah Tringe, Luis Commolli, and Hoi-Ying Holman — have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria, believed to be about as small as life can get. There hasn’t been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based description of the microbes until now. More>

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First Direct Observation of CO2’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect

Researchers measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions. More>

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Latest ‘Genome-to-Watershed’ Video Looks at Microorganisms

The third installment of the video “trilogy” related to the DOE–BER Genome-to-Watershed Scientific Focus Area (SFA) 2.0 project, entitled “SFA 2.0-Metabolic Potential,” describes the powerful influence of metabolic potential—the collective metabolic capabilities of subsurface microbial communities. More>

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Kavli Roundtable on the Nanotech View of the Microbiome

Berkeley Lab earth scientist Eoin Brodie joins a roundtable discussion of how nanoscience could aid the study of microbiomes — ubiquitous communities of microorganisms that mediate interactions of plants and animals with their environments. More>

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Microbes to Biomes (M2B) Town Hall on Feb. 20

The event — which will explore the M2B initiative and FY16 LDRD opportunities — runs from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. Eoin Brodie, Peter Nico, Javier Ceja Navarro, Tanja Woyke, Matt Blow, Susan Celniker, and Ben Brown will provide short presentations and participate in a panel-based discussion. Go here for more on M2B.

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