From catalysts to cold medicines, molecular-level interactions in liquids are of interest to scientists. Microfluidic devices allow scientists to obtain chemical imaging data by channeling small samples past electron microscopes or spectrometers. The devices hold the sample, and are then fitted into the instrument for analysis. This area of research is quickly growing, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in their review article published in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics.
An international team, including a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientist, used two new techniques to find the viscosity of organic particles produced when alpha-pinene meets ozone. They found that the resulting carbon-containing particles behave like liquids, semi-solids or solids across a range of atmospheric relative humidity conditions. Their research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. At PNNL, this work was supported through the Aerosol Climate Initiative of the Laboratory Research and Development Program, and used the continuous-flow environmental chamber at the Atmospheric Measurements Laboratory.
Fires and hurricanes are only two examples of natural disturbances that drastically affect millions of people worldwide. Now, scientists are considering how these events might limit opportunities for climate mitigation as well. A team of scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, working at the Joint Global Change Research Institute at Maryland, found that strategies to alleviate the impacts of climate change will need to account for future land and atmospheric disturbances that impact forests. This study is the first to quantify the effect of future natural disturbances on climate mitigation strategies.
PNNL researchers compared turbulent cloud development to the timing of an atmospheric perturbation that rolls over the tropical Western Pacific every 60 to 90 days. Contrary to past assumptions, rather than a smooth transition, they found two peaks in cloudiness and rainfall during the active phase of the atmospheric phenomenon known as the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO for short). Filling in the gaps on the MJO's impact on the climate will help scientists better understand and model the MJO, and planners better project future events under the influence of climate change.
Scientists at China's Lanzhou University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that dust lifted from the Taklimakan Desert during a dust storm had a significant effect on the regional climate. The 2006 storm was aggravated by a cold front that pushed the dust to the highest level of the atmosphere over the northern Tibetan Plateau in China, affecting the balance of heat in the region's atmosphere. The ability to accurately model dust storms will help in understanding the climatic impact of dust.