Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab’s Inez Fung, Bill Collins Featured in KQED Article on Global Climate Action Summit

This week corporate and civic leaders from around the world have gathered in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, spearheaded by Gov. Jerry Brown to address global warming issues. While the outlook appears grim by many standards, recently refined climate models suggest that aggressively cutting emissions could improve future life on Earth in significant ways — or at least blunt the impact of continued warming. More>

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Lab Materials Scientists Work to Concoct the Bluest Blue Ever Created

A group of UC Berkeley students, including the Lab’s Arunima Balan and Joseph Swabeck, are working with an artist-in-residence on campus to engineer a new pigment of blue, called “Quantum Blue.” The project offers the opportunity to introduce nanoscientific principles in an accessible way to a broader audience. “People can relate to art,” Balan says. “People cannot relate to quantum dots.” More>

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Lab’s Andy Jones Featured on ‘NBC Bay Area’ Report on Climate Change

Bigger fires, dirtier air, and more flooding within the next 30 to 50 years. That’s the crux of the stark warning in the latest University of California climate change report recently released by the governor’s office. “The entry to the Bay Bridge toll plaza is just a few feet above sea level, so we’ll begin to see flooding of the toll plaza on a relatively frequent basis,” said EESA researcher Andy Jones. Watch>

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ETA’s Piette Quoted on the Future of Utility Demand Response

In this Grist article, Building Technology and Urban Systems Division Director Mary Ann Piette offers her thoughts on the future of utility-administered demand response programs, which can be deployed strategically and surgically to relieve stress on the grid in an increasingly warmer world.

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Scientists See Fingerprints of Climate Change All Over California’s Wildfires

Climate researchers and fire experts agree global warming is having an impact on wildfires. Michael Wehner of the Computational Research Division did a computation for the heat in California and concluded that 2 to 3 degrees of temperature increase could be chalked up to climate change. “When you’re really hot,” he said, “a little bit hotter makes it a lot worse in terms of human health and aggravating fire danger.” More>

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How Artificial Intelligence Can Supercharge the Search for New Particles

Faced with the challenge of intelligent data reduction, some physicists are trying to use a machine learning technique called a “deep neural network” to dredge the sea of familiar events for new physics phenomena. The general idea, according to the Lab researcher Ben Nachman, is to train the machine to seek out rare variations in a data set. More>

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NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ Cites Lab Study on Office Temperature and Task Performance

This July 16 segment of NPR’s ‘Morning edition’ cites a 2006 study co-authored by William Fisk of the Energy Technologies Area, which found that when office temperatures rise above the mid-70s, worker performance begins to drop off.

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Kathy Yelick Quoted in Article on March Toward Exascale Computing

There was much celebrating in America last month when the Department of Energy unveiled Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer. Now the race is on to achieve the next significant milestone in processing power: exascale computing. “Our goal is to deliver as many breakthroughs as possible,” says Computing Sciences ALD Kathy Yelick, who is part of the leadership team coordinating the US initiative. More>

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Industry, University Collaboration Yields Innovative, Sustainable Water Treatment

Severn Trent, a private water company in the U.K., has joined forces with Cranfield University on research and development of innovative water treatment approaches. This kind of collaboration will become more important as populations increase and water shortages loom. In a recent Nature article, the Lab’s Peter Fiske says emerging economies are facing critical questions about water cycle sustainability. More>

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U.S. Once Again Has Fastest Supercomputer

This week, when the latest ranking of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world was released, the Energy Department’s new Summit machine reclaimed the number one spot, which China has held for five years. The rankings are produced by TOP500, a group that includes the Lab’s Horst Simon and Erich Strohmaier. More>

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