Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate
Predicting Cyclones: Small Errors Add Up to Big Difference
Results: For the first time, an international team of scientists led by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory simulated Indian Ocean tropical cyclones to investigate how model errors grow. Using very high-resolution models, their research found that in the tropical cyclone environments, model errors begin to grow in calculations over small regions and continue to build from local to regional scales. The scientists also discovered that errors at small scales grow faster than those at larger scales, even in sophisticated models that explicitly simulate processes involving clouds and rain.
Geoengineering: Opening a Dialogue on the Future
Results: Climate geoengineering uses technology to temporarily reduce the effects of climate change by reflecting a small portion of sunlight back to space. As recently reported in Environmental Research Letters, an international team of scientists led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers used the output from climate models to evaluate which regions of the globe might be made "better" or "worse" by such geoengineering.
Playing Twenty Questions with Molecules at Plasmonic Junctions
it seems as if molecules struggle to communicate with scientists. When it comes
to junction plasmons, essentially light waves trapped at tiny gaps between
noble metals, what the molecules have to say could radically change the design
of detectors used for science and security. Single molecule detection
sensitivity is feasible through Raman scattering from molecules coaxed into plasmonic
junctions. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) found
that sequences of Raman spectra recorded at a plasmonic junction, formed by a gold
tip and a silver surface, exhibit dramatic intensity fluctuations, accompanied
by switching from familiar vibrational line spectra of a molecule to broad band
spectra of the same origin. The fluctuations confirm the team's earlier model
assigns enhanced band spectra in Raman scattering from plasmonic nanojunctions to
shorting of the junction plasmon through intervening molecular bridges.
New Project is the ACME of Addressing Climate Change
Eight national laboratories, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, are combining forces with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions and one private-sector company, to start work on the most complete climate and Earth system model yet. High performance computing will be used for the project to address challenging and demanding climate change issues. Other participating national laboratories include Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia.
Modelers Clear Pathways for the Water-Carbon-Energy Cycle
Results: The starting point very often changes the finish. A team led by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory modeled runoff, that is, water's movement over the land surface and through the subsurface, using two widely adopted methods. They found that the modeling choices result in differences that ultimately swing results in carbon cycle simulations—by as much as 20 percent. The differences in modeling runoff methods cause substantial differences in the soil moisture that also changes soil temperature. Their study was published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.
Waters Appointed to New National Academies Committee
to Dr. Katrina Waters, Deputy Director of Biological Sciences at Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory on her appointment to a new National Academies Study on Predictive-Toxicology
Approaches. The study
committee will evaluate modern toxicology approaches for use by the Department
of Defense to predict toxicity, in efforts to prevent debilitating acute
exposures to deployed personnel.
Comprehensive Proteomic Dataset of Ovarian Tumor Samples Released
Results: A collaboration between researchers
from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Johns Hopkins University has
produced a comprehensive dataset of the proteomic analyses of high-grade serous
ovarian tumor samples. Such tumors are the most common cancer of the ovary. The
dataset provides researchers the opportunity to develop and test novel
proteogenomic integration tools and algorithms to extend their understanding of
cancer biology and how genomic through proteomic changes interact to drive
cancer-information that can help identify clinical targets for treatment.
Water Leads to Chemical that Gunks up Biofuels Production
Results: Trying to understand the chemistry that turns plant
material into the same energy-rich gasoline and diesel we put in our vehicles,
researchers have discovered that water in the conversion process helps form an
impurity which, in turn, slows down key chemical reactions. The study can help
improve processes that produce biofuels from plants.
Johannes Lercher and Chuck Peden Named Wiley Research Fellows
to Dr. Johannes Lercher
and Dr. Chuck Peden
at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on being named Wiley
Research Fellows in recognition of the role they will play in EMSL's Energy
Materials & Processes Science Theme, and their proven record of generating
Chromium's Bonding Angles Let Oxygen Move Quickly
Results: By taking advantage of the natural tendency of chromium atoms to avoid certain bonding environments, scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have generated a material that allows oxygen
to move through it very efficiently, and at relatively low temperatures.
Specifically, they found that their attempts to make metallic SrCrO3
lead instead to the formation of semiconducting SrCrO2.8 . Because chromium
as an ion with a charge of +4 does not like to form 90o bonds with oxygen,
as it must in SrCrO3, SrCrO2.8 forms instead with a completely
different crystal structure. This material contains oxygen-deficient planes
through which oxygen can diffuse very easily.