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Research Highlights

anvil and cumulus convective clouds
Full Story | November 2015

Storm Clouds Take Rain on Rollercoaster Ride
PNNL's new modeling technique describes water's up and down journey inside turbulent storm clouds

Rising plumes of convective storm clouds can often carry raindrops, snowflakes, and even hailstones upward before they fall out. This lengthened journey prolongs their growth stage and boosts the eventual intensity and amount of precipitation. PNNL researchers explained the complex fluxes in turbulent storm clouds using statistical distributions of the vertical velocity and various kinds of precipitating particles within the clouds.

Tree of life
Full Story | November 2015

Now Available: Seeds from the Tree of Life
Massive dataset dramatically improves access to information on environmentally important microbes

For generations, scientists have been cataloging the tree of life, the branching, interconnected collection of Earth's species. The library of molecular characterizations of various species just grew substantially, thanks to PNNL scientists, who released >35,000 files related to a decade of research on microbial species. The files describe >100 microbial species, including environmental strains and human pathogens. The scientists hope to promote wider use of this important resource.

Artistic representation of rotor in NMR
Full Story | November 2015

Teaching Reactions How to Navigate
New topographical map shows the energy hills and valleys involved in turning electrons into fuel

When starting out on a new adventure, it helps to have a map, allowing you to determine how to best spend your time and energy along the way. The same is true for chemical reactions. Without understanding the steps involved, reactions can end up on energy-wasting backroads or creating toxic wastes. Unfortunately, few reaction maps exist because of the expertise needed to chart all the possible paths. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists mapped areaction that turns wind-generated electricity into fuel and the amount of energy needed for each step.

Full Story | October 2015

CENATE: A Computing Proving Ground
New center at PNNL will shape future extreme-scale computing systems

The recently launched Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation, dubbed CENATE, at PNNL is a first-of-its-kind computing proving ground. Before setting the next-generation, extreme-scale supercomputers to work solving some of the nation’s biggest problems, CENATE’s evaluation of early technologies to predict their overall potential and guide their designs will help hone future technology, systems, and applications before these high-cost machines make it to production.

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