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    Supercomputer Simulations Confirm Observations of 2015 India/Pakistan Heat Waves

    Supercomputer Simulations Confirm Observations of 2015 India/Pakistan Heat Waves

    A paper released December 15 during the American Geophysical Union fall meeting points to new evidence of human influence on extreme weather events. After examining observational and simulated temperature and heat indexes, the research team--which included three scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory--concluded that two separate deadly heat waves that occurred in India and Pakistan in the summer of 2015 "were exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change."

    Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

    Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

    Scientists expect trees will advance upslope as global temperatures increase, shifting the tree line--the mountain zone where trees become smaller and eventually stop growing--to higher elevations. Subalpine forests will follow their climate up the mountain, in other words. But new research published Dec. 15 in the journal Global Change Biology suggests this may not hold true for two subalpine tree species of western North America.

    Water: Finding the Normal Within the Weird

    Water: Finding the Normal Within the Weird

    RICHLAND, Wash. - Water has many unusual properties, such as its solid form, ice, being able to float in liquid water, and they get weirder below its freezing point. Supercooled water -- below freezing but still a liquid -- is notoriously difficult to study. Some researchers thought supercooled water behaved oddly within a particularly cold range, snapping from a liquid into a solid, instantaneously crystallizing at a particular temperature like something out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

    Laser R&D Focuses on Next-Gen Particle Collider

    Laser R&D Focuses on Next-Gen Particle Collider

    A set of new laser systems and proposed upgrades at Berkeley Lab's BELLA Center will propel long-term plans for a more compact and affordable ultrahigh-energy particle collider.

    Sawdust Reinvented Into Super Sponge for Oil Spills

    Sawdust Reinvented Into Super Sponge for Oil Spills

    Oil spills could be cleaned up in the icy, rough waters of the Arctic with a chemically modified sawdust material that absorbs up to five times its weight in oil and stays afloat for at least four months.

    Neutrons Identify Key Ingredients of the Quantum Spin Liquid Recipe

    Neutrons Identify Key Ingredients of the Quantum Spin Liquid Recipe

    Neutron scattering studies of a rare earth metal oxide have identified fundamental pieces to the quantum spin liquid puzzle, revealing a better understanding of how and why these materials exhibit exotic behaviors such as failing to fully freeze when exposed to sub-zero temperatures. In a paper published in Nature Physics, a team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutrons to examine the origins of unusual magnetic behavior in a rare earth-based metal oxide, ytterbium-magnesium-gallium-tetraoxide (YbMgGaO4). The material, discovered in 2015, is known to have strange magnetic properties, putting it in a unique category of materials classified as quantum spin liquids.

    Scientists Track Chemical and Structural Evolution of Catalytic Nanoparticles in 3D

    Scientists Track Chemical and Structural Evolution of Catalytic Nanoparticles in 3D

    To help tackle the challenge of finding effective, inexpensive catalysts for fuel cells, scientists at Brookhaven Lab have produced dynamic, 3D images that reveal how catalytic nanoparticles evolve as they are processed.

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2016

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2016

    Almeria Analytics adds a capability with ORNL technology; Wireless sensor network provides insight into population density, movement; New ORNL technology quickly detects cracks in walls, roofs; ORNL motor boasts 75 percent power gain over competing designs; New microscopy technique features unprecedented resolution; Livestock feed gets a bioenergy boost

    New Study of Water-Saving Plants Advances Efforts to Develop Drought-Resistant Crops

    New Study of Water-Saving Plants Advances Efforts to Develop Drought-Resistant Crops

    As part of an effort to develop drought-resistant food and bioenergy crops, scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered the genetic and metabolic mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and thrive in semi-arid climates.

    Ames Laboratory Awarded $5 Million to Improve Metal Powders for Advanced Manufacturing

    Ames Laboratory Awarded $5 Million to Improve Metal Powders for Advanced Manufacturing

    Ames Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been awarded $5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) to improve the production and composition of metal alloy powders used in additive manufacturing.

    Exploring the Fate of the Earth's Storehouse of Carbon

    Exploring the Fate of the Earth's Storehouse of Carbon

    A new study predicts that warming temperatures will contribute to the release into the atmosphere of carbon that has long been locked up securely in the coldest reaches of our planet.Soil and climate expert Katherine Todd-Brown of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is an author of the study, which was led by researchers at Yale.

    Where the Rains Come From

    Where the Rains Come From

    Intense storms have become more frequent and longer-lasting in the Great Plains and Midwest in the last 35 years. What has fueled these storms? The temperature difference between the Southern Great Plains and the Atlantic Ocean produces winds that carry moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Plains, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

    Glowing Crystals Can Detect, Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

    Glowing Crystals Can Detect, Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

    Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a team of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that can detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

    Ultrafast Imaging Reveals Existence of 'Polarons'

    Ultrafast Imaging Reveals Existence of 'Polarons'

    UPTON, NY--Many people picture electrical conductivity as the flow of charged particles (mainly electrons) without really thinking about the atomic structure of the material through which those charges are moving. But scientists who study "strongly correlated electron" materials such as high-temperature superconductors and those with strong responses to magnetism know that picture is far too simplistic.

    Komodo Dragons Help Researchers Understand Microbial Health in Captive Animals

    Komodo Dragons Help Researchers Understand Microbial Health in Captive Animals

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Chicago and Argonne are the first to identify similarities in the way in which Komodo dragons and humans and their pets share microbes within closed environments.

    Genes, Early Environment Sculpt the Gut Microbiome

    Genes, Early Environment Sculpt the Gut Microbiome

    A new study finds that environment and genetics determine relative abundance of specific microbes in the gut. The findings represent an attempt to untangle the forces that shape the gut microbiome, which plays an important role in keeping us healthy.

    Ames Laboratory Scientists Create New Compound, First Intermetallic Double Salt with Platinum

    Ames Laboratory Scientists Create New Compound, First Intermetallic Double Salt with Platinum

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are being credited with creating the first intermetallic double salt with platinum.

    Scientists Trace 'Poisoning' in Chemical Reactions to the Atomic Scale

    Scientists Trace 'Poisoning' in Chemical Reactions to the Atomic Scale

    A combination of experiments, including X-ray studies at Berkeley Lab, revealed new details about pesky deposits that can stop chemical reactions vital to fuel production and other processes.

    Global Brain Initiatives Generate Tsunami of Neuroscience Data

    Global Brain Initiatives Generate Tsunami of Neuroscience Data

    New technologies are giving researchers unprecedented opportunities to explore how the brain processes, utilizes, stores and retrieves information. But without a coherent strategy to analyze, manage and understand the data generated by these new tools, advancements in the field will be limited. Berkeley Lab researchers and their collaborators offer a plan to overcome these big data challenges.

    X-Rays Capture Unprecedented Images of Photosynthesis in Action

    X-Rays Capture Unprecedented Images of Photosynthesis in Action

    An international team of scientists is providing new insight into the process by which plants use light to split water and create oxygen. In experiments led by Berkeley Lab scientists, ultrafast X-ray lasers were able to capture atomic-scale images of a protein complex found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria at room temperature.

    New, Detailed Snapshots Capture Photosynthesis at Room Temperature

    New, Detailed Snapshots Capture Photosynthesis at Room Temperature

    New X-ray methods at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the highest resolution room-temperature images of protein complex photosystem II, which allows scientists to closely watch how water is split during photosynthesis at the temperature at which it occurs naturally.

    New Tabletop Technique Probes Outermost Electrons of Atoms Deep Inside Solids

    New Tabletop Technique Probes Outermost Electrons of Atoms Deep Inside Solids

    Researchers at the Stanford PULSE Institute have invented a new way to probe the valence electrons of atoms deep inside a crystalline solid.

    Argonne Researchers Study How Reflectivity of Biofuel Crops Impacts Climate

    Argonne Researchers Study How Reflectivity of Biofuel Crops Impacts Climate

    Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have conducted a detailed study of the albedo (reflectivity) effects of converting land to grow biofuel crops. Based on changes in albedo alone, their findings reveal that greenhouse gas emissions in land use change scenarios represent a net warming effect for ethanol made from miscanthus grass and switchgrass, but a net cooling effect for ethanol made from corn.

    Engineering a More Efficient System for Harnessing Carbon Dioxide

    Engineering a More Efficient System for Harnessing Carbon Dioxide

    A team from the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany has reverse engineered a biosynthetic pathway for more effective carbon fixation that is based on a new CO2-fixing enzyme that is nearly 20 times faster than the most prevalent enzyme in nature responsible for capturing CO2 in plants by using sunlight as energy.