Friday, October 10, 2014

Tiny yet mighty methane hotspot discovered in the US

The Four Corners area is the only red spot on the map. NASA/JPL/U of Mich.

Using data from the European Space Agency’s Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument on board ENVISAT, scientists from NASA and the University of Michigan discovered the hotspot near the Four Corners intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah        

To verify the remote satellite data, the researchers compared their results with a Total Carbon Column Observing Network ground station, operated by the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Satellite data shows U.S. methane ‘hot spot’ bigger than expected

Los Alamos instruments near the Four Corners coal-fired power plant. LANL image.

One small "hot spot" in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate        

A ground station in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network, operated by the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, provided independent validation of the measurement. (Full Story)

The danger to birds from open pipes

Western Bluebird, from ENN.              

Open pipes, widely used for a variety of purposes across the western U.S. landscape, have been reported as a "potentially very large" source of bird mortality according to research by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The finding was part of a peer-reviewed study accepted for publication by the "Western North American Naturalist" and authored by Charles D. Hathcock and Jeanne M. Fair. (Full Story)

Team advances understanding of Greenland ice sheet

Greenland ice sheet.            

An international research team’s field work, drilling and measuring melt rates and ice sheet movement in Greenland is showing that things are, in fact, more complicated than we thought.

“Although the Greenland Ice Sheet initially speeds up each summer in its slow-motion race to the sea, the network of meltwater channels beneath the sheet is not necessarily forming the slushy racetrack that had been previously considered,” said Matthew Hoffman, a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist on the project. (Full Story)

Also from the LA Monitor this week:

LANL receives recognition for safety excellence

The Star Status flag flies over the Lab, LANL photo.          

Los Alamos National Laboratory has received Star-level recognition from the Department of Energy as part of DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program. Los Alamos becomes the largest site in the DOE complex to receive Star Status.

“Hazards are part of our everyday work and achieving VPP Star recognition validates the evolution of worker-manager partnerships in making our laboratory safe,” said laboratory director Charlie McMillan.” (Full Story)

Also in the Los Alamos Daily Post

LANL’s four scientific pillars

LANL and NMC scientist Richard Sayre leads a tour of the bio-energy facility.  From AgWire. 

Back in the days of the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) was a secret to the outside world. Founded to develop technologies to defend America, that mission is still in place today. During the Verdesian Los Alamos Media Tour, ag reporters had the opportunity to learn about the work being done at LANL as well as how some of the innovations developed in the lab eventually end up on a farmer’s field. I should note that the scientific foundation of Verdesian’s Take-Off product was developed at LANL. (Full Story)

Additional stories from AgWired -- LANL Ag Innovations and From Lab to Field

Special report: Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory

Richard Sayre in the biofuel lab.  From FIN.

Plant health company Verdesian Life Sciences took the media behind the gates of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico this week to see where the technology for its plant health product Take Off was discovered. The technology increases the metabolism in plants to help them grow better.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, known for its development of the first atomic bomb, is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world. It is using the same technologies it uses in national defense to study crops. (Full Story)

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