BER Highlights

You are here

RSS
March 14, 2019
Scientists are studying the microbial communities created during the fracking process to see how they can be managed to improve gas production.
How Injected Microbes Persist in Hydraulically Fractured Shale
Scientists reveal the importance of an amino acid that supplies energy and protection for microbial communities deep underground.
March 14, 2019
New geochemical research clearly shows how toxic material like uranium binds with iron-bearing minerals like hematite in the soil, allowing scientists to predict long-term behavior.
Fitting a Square Peg in a Round Hole: The Surprising Structure of Uranium Bound in Hematite
An atomic view of how toxic uranium binds to iron minerals in the environment enables better predictions of its behavior.
March 1, 2019
Cryo-soft X-ray tomography of an algal cell shows the large accumulation of fat (yellow). Nucleus, purple; chloroplast, green; mitochondria, red; lipid bodies, yellow.
Feeding Sugars to Algae Makes Them Fat
Adding glucose to a green microalga culture induces accumulation of fatty acids and other valuable bioproducts.
February 28, 2019
Carbon and energy balances may prove to be a simplified way to predict microbial functions in soils that are often flooded and how such functions effect climate, soil health, and crop productivity.
A Simplified Way to Predict the Function of Microbial Communities
A pioneering study on how microbes work could advance models of frequently flooded soil’s elements and nutrients.
February 27, 2019
Root nodules, which allow some bacteria to fix nitrogen into soils for greater plant productivity, have a surprisingly complex metabolism, which could be optimized to develop more sustainable agriculture.
Unexpected Complexity: A 3D Look into Plant Root Relationships with Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
Scientists develop a molecular map of metabolic products of bacteria in root nodules to aid sustainable agriculture.
February 27, 2019
Ozone damage starts as stipple, which are dark pinpoint spots, visible on the left side of this snap bean leaf. The more extensive yellow-ringed brown patches on the top and right side of this leaf are evidence of severe ozone damage.
Maximizing Ozone Signals
Technique enables efficient & precise estimates of trends in ozone & other atmospheric constituents within selected geographical regions & timeframes.
February 27, 2019
This map is an example from the global gridded data set that shows the spatial distribution of annual mean water withdrawal in six sectors.
How Much Water Does the World Use?
Global data set shows monthly water use by irrigation, manufacturing, and other uses, helping researchers to analyze water use by region and season.
February 26, 2019
Composite images of 16 radiographs of 11-week-old poplar seedling in sand (top). The intensity indicates water content (bottom).
Get to the Root: Tiny Poplar Roots Extract More Water than Their Larger Counterparts after Drought
Researchers link root water uptake to root traits and assess (poor) performance of common models.
February 26, 2019
The scientists used radiometers, shown here, to isolate the signal of methane’s greenhouse effect. Radiometers are among the many instruments at ARM’s Southern Great Plains observatory the team used as part of this study.
First Observation of Methane’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface
Predictions of the direct impacts of greenhouse gases must account for local temperature and humidity conditions.
February 26, 2019
Who Can Sort the Rain?
Surface measurements of rain drop sizes shed light on cloud processes and cloud types.
February 25, 2019
In freshwater wetlands of the Great Lakes region, mercury accumulation in plants poses a significant human health concern. In a 2018 study, researchers showed the influence of wetland vegetation in regulating mercury toxicity in a Great Lakes estuary.
Why Toxic Methylmercury Production Increased in a Great Lakes Estuary
Research offers evidence that microbes and organic matter raise toxin levels, potentially helping improve mercury monitoring.
February 25, 2019
In areas with weak surface winds, additional evaporation from the ocean’s surface is a major energy source for driving tropical patterns that create rainfall.
Gust or Bust: Blustery Winds Important for Modeling Tropical Rainfall
Researchers find gusty winds increase surface evaporation that drives summer rainstorms in the Tropical West Pacific.
February 24, 2019
Phytoplankton: the foundation of the oceanic food chain.
Starving the Oceans
Nutrients increasingly moving to the deep ocean with strong climate warming could lead to drastic drops in surface ocean life and fishery yields.
February 4, 2019
Productivity of vegetation is linked to spatial position across the tundra landscape.
Controls on Nitrogen Nutrient Availability in the Arctic Tundra
Soil moisture is key to determining plant growth and nutrient cycling in complex tundra landscapes.
February 4, 2019
Computer model offers detailed view of water cycling and complex Earth system dynamics.
Coupling Computer Models Shows Interactions among River Water, Groundwater, and Land Surfaces
Computer model offers detailed view of water cycling and complex Earth system dynamics.
February 1, 2019
Pictures of three natural organic matter fractions extracted from sediment show the fractions are water extractable (MQ-SPE), acid-soluble pyrophosphate extractable (PP-SPE), and acid-insoluble pyrophosphate extractable (PP >1 kD).
New Approach Gets Better View of Carbon Deeper Underground
Characterizing carbon stored in deeper sediments below soils is critical for understanding the stability and dynamics of Earth’s carbon pool.
February 1, 2019
The Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica is one of the largest regional contributors to sea level rise.
Near-Term Ocean Warming Around Antarctica Affects Long-Term Rate of Sea Level Rise
Scientists investigate a threshold for rapid ice-sheet degradation in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
February 1, 2019
Researchers studied molecular data on phages to discover how the viruses affect environmentally important bacteria in nature.
Viruses Must Overcome Challenges to Infect Bacteria in Nature
Molecular studies show phage-host interactions are more complicated than most laboratory studies suggest.
January 20, 2019
(left) The diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and flagellated bacteria. (right) Researchers studied P. tricornutum enriched in carbon-13 (red) derived from fixation of labeled carbon dioxide and bacterial symbionts enriched in nitrogen-15 (green).
Community Matters When Using Algae to Produce Energy
Algae that turn carbon dioxide into fuel feedstock are enhanced by surrounding bacteria.
January 20, 2019
An international team tracked the genomic composition of microbes in thawing permafrost to determine which had the greatest impact on releases of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Uncovering the Microbial Food Web in Thawing Permafrost
Recovery of more than 1500 microbial genomes shines light on how carbon is metabolized as permafrost thaws.
January 20, 2019
Helicopter view of thawing permafrost field site, Stordalen Mire, in northern Sweden.
Getting To Know the Microbes that Drive Climate Change
The genetics of viruses living along a permafrost thaw gradient may help scientists better predict the pace of climate change.
January 18, 2019
Tree death shuts off photosynthesis and increases carbon release (from dead wood), leaving more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
A Challenging Future for Tropical Forests
Mortality rates of moist tropical forests are on the rise due to environmental drivers and related mechanisms.
January 14, 2019
Shallow cumulus clouds are big players in regulating the planet’s temperature. A new system gives researchers a 3-D view of these clouds and will help them test ideas about how such clouds act.
Observing Clouds in Four Dimensions
Six cameras are revolutionizing observations of shallow cumulus clouds.
January 14, 2019
On the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet, well-like shafts form. Water travels through these shafts to the glacier bed below. Scientists showed how these conduits, called moulins, form.
Rapid Lake Draining on Ice Sheets Changes How Water Moves in Unexpected Ways
Widespread fracturing during lake drainage triggers vertical shafts to form that affect the Greenland Ice Sheet.
January 14, 2019
Scientists are working to better understand how aerosols, including those that build up in the air from urban environments, affect the atmosphere and Earth system processes.
New Historical Emissions Trends Estimated with the Community Emissions Data System
The data system will allow for more detailed, consistent, and up-to-date global emissions trends that will aid in understanding aerosol effects.