February 1, 2001

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Preparing for a time when a deep reduction in greenhouse gases is required, researchers have begun exploring the last-ditch option of carbon sequestration -- taking carbon emissions from power plants and other sources out of circulation.  Carbon dioxide currently makes up five to 15 percent of power plant emissions.  Sally Benson heads an effort to examine pumping carbon dioxide underground, exploiting it, for instance, to help extract oil and gas from depleted reservoirs.

Oceans take up a third of the carbon currently emitted by human activity, roughly two billion metric tons each year.  The amount of carbon that would double the load in the atmosphere would increase the concentration in the deep ocean by only two percent.  Exploring the sequestration of additional carbon in the ocean, scientists are examining two strategies -- direction injection and sea "fertilization."  Research will reveal whether these strategies really work, and if there are problems associated with them.

New climate studies project serious water problems for California and other western states because of an increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.  By the middle of this century, the West may face warmer overall temperatures, more winter rain but less snow.  In turn, this will mean more flooding in the spring and, as water managers drain water from reservoirs to abate flooding,  reduced water supply during already dry summers.


Disputing a widely publicized report claiming that the Internet has resulted in an explosive growth in electricity demand, researchers find that office and network equipment consume only about three percent of total U.S. electricity.

Thinking outside the box and outside the cell: IncyteGenomics interviews the Lab's Mina Bissell, a progressive, outspoken life scientist whose research has focused attention on the role played by the extracellular matrix in breast cancer and other diseases.

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