Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Climate Sciences Facilities & Centers

The Climate Science Department within LBNL’s Earth Sciences Division has extensive experimental, analytical, and computational facilities, including experimental facilities associated with the molecular signatures, synchrotron science, and isotope biogeochemistry disciplines, along with computational facilities used for atmospheric and land-surface modeling. Through other labs, we perform nuclear magnetic resonance at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) within the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and accelerator mass spectrometry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). We also have access to the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) for high-resolution imaging and detailed chemical characterization.

Computing Resources

Several ESD-Climate Science Department research projects involve testing and calibrating land-surface and atmospheric models using a variety of computing resources. LBNL’s NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) systems are coupled to a High Performance Storage System (HPSS) and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet).

Center for Isotope Geochemistry (CIG)

ESD’s Climate Science Department uses this joint UC Berkeley-LBNL facility for research on the use of isotopic variations in natural materials to understand biogeochemical and geochemical processes. CIG comprises a number of analytical laboratories: stable isotope; soil carbon and biogeochemistry; analytical chemistry; inductively coupled plasma multi-collector magnetic sector mass geochemistry (MC-ICPMS), and thermal-ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS).

Terrestrial Biogeochemistry Laboratory

Within LBNL, ESD’s Climate Science Department uses this laboratory for research to prepare and analyze plant, soil, and air samples for elemental and isotopic (13C, 14C, 15N) composition, including graphite preparation for 14C analysis of plant, soil, and air samples. Facilities are available for density fractionation and chemical analysis of whole soils.

The Richmond Field Station (RFS)

ESD’s Climate Science Department primarily uses this facility (located 6 miles northwest of the UC Berkeley Campus and LBNL) for teaching and research purposes, including large-scale engineering, forestry, and ecosystem research. Available facilities at the RFS include 150 mesocosms instrumented with soil temperature and moisture probes and packed with sandstone soils from California. Some of these mesocosms are proposed for use in LBNL’s strategic sequestration initiative, to investigate the rhizosphere processes of different bioenergy plant species.

Stable Isotope Laboratory

This LBNL-UC Berkeley facility consists of the IsoProbe (MC-ICPMS) Laboratory (a Center for Isotope Geochemistry–CIG facility) and the Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory. At this facility, ESD’s Climate Science Department uses mass spectrometers that measure the stable isotope ratios of H, C, N, O, Cl and S using gas source isotope ratio mass spectrometry, and to conventional thermal ionization mass spectrometry.

Geophysical Measurements Facility (GMF)

The Environmental Geophysics facilities are comprised of four key components: a Geophysical Measurements Facility (GMF); a Center for Computational Seismology Facility (CCS); a Soil and Rock Laboratory; and a Hydro- and Biogeophysical Analytical Facility. All of ESD’s Climate Sciences Department field and laboratory work is supported by LBNL’s Geophysical Measurement Facility (GMF), which is designed to develop and maintain a variety of geoscience measurement equipment. GMF assists in development of new instrumentation and field methods for investigating the subsurface and its processes, by providing professional in-field technical support for scientific staff.

Advanced Light Source (ALS)

The Climate Science Department within ESD has close access to one of the world's brightest sources of ultraviolet and soft x-ray beams, in the Advances Light Source (ALS), located at LBNL. ALS spectroscopy capabilities are used to image the spatial distribution of organic carbon and nitrogen bound to reactive mineral surfaces. 

Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB)

Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB):  The Climate Science Department within ESD utilizes LBNL’s seven-laboratory unit occupying 5,000+ square feet is set up for Class II, Type A/B3 molecular- and microbiology work.