News

Global Carbon Budget: Fossil fuel CO2 emissions growth nearly flat; atmospheric concentration continues to rise

The latest annual Global Carbon Budget shows the growth of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel use is likely to be nearly flat for the third year in a row, with fewer emissions from coal burning a possible factor. Even with that slowdown, however, atmospheric CO2 continues to climb—growing by a record high of 23 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2015 and projected to grow 25 Gt in 2016.

New study of water-saving plants advances efforts to develop drought-resistant crops

As part of an effort to develop drought-resistant food and bioenergy crops, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered the genetic and metabolic mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and thrive in semi-arid climates.

Melissa Allen: The atmosphere’s the limit

Melissa Allen, an aspiring scientist in the Climate Change Science and the Urban Dynamics Institutes, is guided by her curiosity and is inspired to pursue what she loves – music, flying and climate science. And she credits her family and many mentors who have helped her along the way.

Peter Thornton: Outdoorsman, field researcher, supercomputer modeler!

The summertime temperatures in the North Slope and Seward Peninsula of Alaska rarely reach higher than 50 degrees F and the perpetually dark winters fall below minus 20 F. It is a brutal environment for any researcher studying the Arctic ecosystem, much less a supercomputer modeler who should be inside writing simulation code, not probing permafrost patterns on the tundra. Yet that is exactly what Peter Thornton does.

Erickson Honored at CCSI Workshop

Dr. David J. Erickson III, a highly influential senior staff member in the Computational Earth Sciences Group and a Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) member, passed away last November. In honor of his life and scientific influence the CCSI—located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory— held an Earth System Modeling (ESM) workshop this year consisting of instructive lectures and memorial tributes from Erickson’s friends and colleagues.