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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Climate Change

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A song of ice and fiber

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researchers are beginning to analyze the first seafloor dataset from under Arctic sea ice using a novel method. They were able to capture ice quakes and transportation activities on the North Slope of Alaska while also monitoring for other climate signals and marine life. The team, led by Sandia […]

Hot red flame coming out of white ice-like blocks on black background.

Finding fire and ice: Modeling the probability of methane hydrate deposits on the seafloor

RALEIGH, N.C. — Methane hydrate, an ice-like material made of compressed natural gas, burns when lit and can be found in some regions of the seafloor and in Arctic permafrost. Thought to be the world’s largest source of natural gas, methane hydrate is a potential fuel source, and if it “melts” and methane gas is […]

International research team begins uncovering Arctic mystery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Something lurks beneath the Arctic Ocean. While it’s not a monster, it has largely remained a mystery. According to 25 international researchers who collaborated on a first-of-its-kind study, frozen land beneath rising sea levels currently traps 60 billion tons of methane and 560 billion tons of organic carbon. Little is known about […]

Machine-learning technique from Sandia Labs could improve fusion energy outputs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Machine-learning techniques, best known for teaching self-driving cars to stop at red lights, may soon help researchers around the world improve their control over the most complicated reaction known to science: nuclear fusion. Fusion reactions are typically hydrogen atoms heated to form a gaseous cloud called a plasma that releases energy as […]

Power Grid

Sandia initiatives to protect US energy grid and nuclear weapons systems

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend U.S. nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia National Laboratories has begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses. One is focused on defending large U.S. electrical utility systems from potential attacks by hostile nations, as well as from damage […]

Dave Martinez inspects a thermosyphon cooler

Cooling unit saves half-million gallons of water at Sandia supercomputing center

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A cooling unit installed on the roof of Sandia National Laboratories’ supercomputer center saved 554,000 gallons of water during its first six months of operation last year, says David J. Martinez, engineering project lead for Sandia’s Infrastructure Computing Services. The dramatic decrease in water use, important for a water-starved state, could be […]

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From Afghanistan to Alaska with atmosphere in between

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For Justin LaPierre, helping maintain an atmospheric research station at the northern tip of Alaska is “eerily reminiscent” of being deployed in the deserts of Afghanistan — just much colder. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, LaPierre has worked as an observer at Oliktok Point for two years. The site is the third […]

Kelsey DiPietro

Hate to wait? Sandia looks to speed up climate research

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Presumably, Leonardo da Vinci could have saved a lot of time on his “Mona Lisa” if he had just slapped on two dots and a swoosh for a smiley face. But details take time. The same goes for running computer models and simulations. If you want oceans of calculations to study something […]

David J. Martinez

Water use cut in half at federal lab in Colorado, thanks in part to Sandia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Sandia National Laboratories engineer has won a Department of Energy environmental award for helping halve the amount of water used to cool a high-performance computer data center in 2017 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. David J. Martinez, engineering project lead for Sandia’s infrastructure computing services, received the […]

David Osborn

Researchers discover new source of formic acid over Pacific, Indian oceans

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Insights from experiments at Sandia National Laboratories designed to push chemical systems far from equilibrium allowed an international group of researchers to discover a new major source of formic acid over the Pacific and Indian oceans. The discovery was published in the July 3 issue of Nature Communications and featured on the […]

ES3M

Exascale Earth-modeling system is ready to make high-fidelity predictions for energy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Earth modeling system developed over the last four years and unveiled Monday is expected to have one of the finest resolutions ever achieved by supercomputers simulating aspects of the planet’s climate, said Sandia National Laboratories researcher Mark Taylor, the project’s chief computational scientist. The Energy Exascale Earth System Model, E3SM, is […]

Exploring Arctic clues to secure future with new Sandia, university partnership

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Arctic is undergoing rapid change, with sea ice melting and temperatures rising at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world. Its changing environment affects global security, politics, the economy and the climate. Understanding these changes is crucial for shaping and safeguarding U.S. security in the future, Sandia scientists say. […]

Acequia photo

Effects of climate change on communally managed water systems softened by shared effort

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shared fates and experiences in a community can help it withstand changes to water availability due to climate change, a recent study by Sandia National Laboratories researchers found. “During our research, a community’s ability to withstand natural and social pressures was routinely pinpointed to the fact that the people who live there […]

Brinker

Biologically inspired membrane purges coal-fired smoke of greenhouse gases

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A biologically inspired membrane intended to cleanse carbon dioxide almost completely from the smoke of coal-fired power plants has been developed by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico. The patented work, reported recently in Nature Communications, has interested power and energy companies that would like to significantly […]

The destructive effects of supercooled liquid water on airplane safety and climate models

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Supercooled  water sounds smooth enough to be served at espresso bars, but instead it hangs out in Earth’s atmosphere, unpredictably freezing on airplane wings and hampering the simulations of climate theorists. To learn more about this unusual state of matter, Sandia National Laboratories atmospheric scientist Darielle Dexheimer and colleagues have organized an expedition to fly huge tethered balloons in […]

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