Earth and Biological
Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate
Beijing's Growing Urban Area Spells Rain Change
Urbanization increases atmospheric particles enough to impact clouds and change precipitation patterns
Atmospheric researchers at PNNL found that the impact of urbanization around Beijing, China, creates two opposite regional effects, one of which dictates seasonal rainfall in the area. Urbanization increases particle emissions from combustion that impact clouds and suppress rainfall in the upwind area while increasing it in the downwind area. The urban heat island effect to increase regional temperatures had less of an impact on rainfall.
A New Model for Simulating the Atmosphere of Ions Around DNA
Refined insights into critical ionic interactions with nature's building blocks
In nature, DNA exists within a solution rife with electrostatically charged atoms or molecules called ions. A recent study led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers investigated a new model of how B-DNA, the form of DNA that predominates in cells, is influenced by the water-and-ions “atmosphere” around it.
Full Story | May 2016
Platinum, Puddles, and Water's True Nature
Water droplets defy predictions, potentially offering insights to everything from fire-retardant fabrics to fuel cells
When ice melts too fast in your drink, you're left with a watered-down mess. When it melts too fast in your scientific experiment, you're left with nothing. At DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists conduct detailed studies on the nature of water, but the water disappeared before the experiments that required ultrahigh vacuum could begin. So Dr. Greg Kimmel and his colleagues devised a new method that lets the water stick around.