Spatially isolated “hot spots” and brief “hot moments” shape methane emissions from tropical forest soils. In this research, scientists used model simulation to understand how microbes and soil variables contribute to the soil’s methane production and consumption. The models indicate that drought alters the diffusion of oxygen and microbes into and out of soil, leading to increased methane release from the entire hillslope during drought recovery. This finding is important for understanding sources of methane, an important greenhouse gas.
Extremely small arrays of magnets with strange and unusual properties can order themselves by increasing entropy, or the tendency of physical systems to disorder, a behavior that appears to contradict standard thermodynamics — but doesn’t.
In an important milestone for the Energy Exascale Earth System Model, researchers have developed and evaluated an entirely new global atmosphere model. The model has a resolution 30 times finer than global climate models. This resolution will produce much more detailed climate simulations.
- Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Astatine-211 (At-211) shows promise for targeted alpha therapy, which may do more damage to cancer cells and cause less harm to the rest of the body than current cancer therapies. Researchers have developed a novel method of separating At-211 and shipping it in a safe, secure resin column. The approach will allow isotope producers to ship larger quantities of At-211 with less risk and loss to decay.
- Separation and Purification Technology
One of the challenges of fusion tokamaks is how to keep the core of a plasma hot enough that fusion can occur while preventing the tokamak walls from melting from that heat. This problem is even more difficult if instabilities at the plasma edge release energy in short bursts instead of a steady flow. Experiments on the DIII-D tokamak have demonstrated that enhancing energy flow in the plasma edge due to turbulent fluctuations can bleed energy smoothly out of the plasma, leading to improved future fusion plant efficiency.
- Nuclear Fusion
Mixed-phase clouds that contain both ice and water particles are extremely complex. Researchers using data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement facility have found a key to understanding how mixed-phase clouds in the Arctic form ice. That key is the role of drizzle droplets as they freeze then shatter. The results will help improve simulations of mixed phase clouds in climate and earth system models.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Tiny silicon quantum processors have finally surpassed 99 percent fidelity, an important milestone toward future quantum computers. Three research groups demonstrated 99 percent fidelity for “if-then” logic gates between two silicon qubits. The researchers used a technique called gate set tomography to achieve this in two of the three experiments, an important methodological step.