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Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change
  • sugary molecules hop aboard floating oily molecules

    Sugar Hitches a Ride on Organic Sea Spray

    PNNL researchers and collaborators found a "sticky" strategy binds organic sugar-like molecules to floating fatty molecules on the sea surface which can be flung into the atmosphere by bursting bubbles. This mechanism may explain the discrepancies between models and the actual sea spray aerosol composition measurements that influence the amount of sunlight reflected by marine clouds.

  • wind farm, Columbia Basin Wind Energy

    How Does the Wind Blow?

    Trapping the capricious nature of wind requires complex calculations and marvelous engineering. Predicting wind power requires additional twists and turns. Scientists at PNNL and their partners better simulated the variability in forecast wind speed and wind power to find that the wind power could range from 20 to 100 percent of the rated power during select time periods.

  • Dr. Yaling Liu

    Yaling Liu Awarded Elizabeth Sulzman Publication Award

    Dr. Yaling Liu, postdoctoral researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was awarded the Elizabeth Sulzman Outstanding Publication Award by the Ecological Society of America for her paper "Agriculture Intensifies Soil Moisture Decline in Northern China." The research was published in Nature's Scientific Reports in 2015.

  • precipitating cloud at the start of the Madden-Julian oscillation

    A Little Nudging Goes a Long Way

    Researchers at PNNL evaluated atmospheric modeling simulations to uncover the sensitive parameters. They found that the simulation fidelity depended on the use of 'nudging,' and the mechanism they used to perturb parameters that affect precipitation and clouds. For the first time, a study evaluated the benefit and cost of the nudging method in model sensitivity to uncertain parameters.

  • Dr. Po-Lun Ma

    Po-Lun Ma Honored with DOE Commendation

    PNNL's Dr. Po-Lun Ma was honored with an Outstanding Contribution Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project during their bi-annual science team meeting. Ma was singled out for "Serving as the critical link between developers, integrators and task leaders to tune and validate the atmosphere and coupled ACME v1 systems."

How do human activities and natural systems interact to affect the Earth's climate? Ultimately, that is the question challenging scientists in PNNL’s Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division.

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