Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Study finds less impact from wildfire smoke on climate

(DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory) New research revealed that tiny, sunlight-absorbing particles in wildfire smoke may have less impact on climate than widely hypothesized because reactions as the plume mixes with clean air reduce its absorbing power and climate-warming effect.

Smart farms of the future: Making bioenergy crops more environmentally friendly

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Farmers have enough worries — between bad weather, rising costs, and shifting market demands — without having to stress about the carbon footprint of their operations. But now a new set of projects by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) could make agriculture both more sustainable and more profitable.

Water is key in catalytic conversion of methane to methanol

(DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory) Scientists reveal new details that explain how a highly selective catalyst converts methane, the main component of natural gas, to methanol, an easy-to-transport liquid fuel and feedstock for making plastics, paints, and other commodity products. The findings could aid the design of even more efficient/selective catalysts to make methane conversion an economically viable and environmentally attractive alternative to venting or flaring ‘waste’ gas.

Advancing high temperature electrolysis: Splitting water to store energy as hydrogen

(DOE/Idaho National Laboratory) Recently, researchers at Idaho National Laboratory developed a new electrode material for an electrochemical cell that can efficiently convert excess electricity and water into hydrogen. When demand for electricity increases, the electrochemical cell is reversible, converting hydrogen back into electricity for the grid. The hydrogen could also be used as fuel for heat, vehicles or other applications.

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Cell membrane proteins imaged in 3D

Scientists have demonstrated a new technique for imaging proteins in 3D with nanoscale resolution. Their work enables researchers to identify the precise location of proteins within individual cells, reaching the resolution of the cell membrane and the smallest subcellular organelles.

Computer model solves mystery of how gas bubbles build big methane hydrate deposits

(University of Texas at Austin) New research from The University of Texas at Austin has explained an important mystery about natural gas hydrate formations and, in doing so, advanced scientists’ understanding of how gas hydrates could contribute to climate change and energy security.

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Here, there and everywhere: Large and giant viruses abound globally

Scientists have uncovered a broad diversity of large and giant viruses that belong to the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) supergroup. As a result, virus diversity in this group expanded 10-fold from just 205 genomes, redefining the phylogenetic tree of giant viruses.

SwRI acquires new flow loop for testing, methane emissions reduction project

(Southwest Research Institute) Southwest Research Institute is now the home of a reciprocating compressor flow loop that is capable of recreating real-life gas pipeline pressures, temperatures and horsepower levels. The flow loop is one of only a handful of its kind available for industry research, development and testing and will play a central role in an ongoing SwRI project to reduce methane emissions.