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Monday, April 6, 2009

In The News

Insurers Move Slowly on Climate Risks, Says Study

[New York Times] Insurers worldwide are gearing up to confront climate change, substantially increasing the number of programs they offer to reduce storm damage, address emissions and encourage renewable energy projects, according to a recently released study authored by Evan Mills, with Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. The industry's effort, however, only touches the "tip of the iceberg," the report says, underscoring widespread assertions that the secretive industry has been slow to adopt policies aimed at forestalling atmospheric warming and protecting its massive investments from weather risks. More>

In The News: Cool Spells Normal in Warming World

climate chart [New York Times] A valuable short paper accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters makes a strong case against presenting any argument about human-driven global warming that’s based on short-term trends (a decade or so). The paper is titled simply, “Is the Climate Warming or Cooling?” It is written by David Easterling of the National Climatic Data Center and Michael Wehner, with Berkeley Lab’s Computational Researh Division. More>

sunIn The News: Tiny Machines Convert Sunlight Directly into Work

[Technology Review] Sunlight is a major source of energy, from photovoltaics and solar-thermal units to biofuels and water-splitting. But all these technologies require intermediate steps and infrastructure to turn the sun's rays into something that can be used to perform work in a machine. Berkeley Lab materials scientists Jean Fréchet and Alex Zettl have made small mechanical machines out of light-responsive nanomaterials, which are propelled across liquid surfaces when illuminated. More> Go here to watch a video on this research.

microphoneSpecial Event: Solar Cell Science@Theater Talk Tonight at 7 p.m.

Cyrus Wadia, with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, presents the next installment of the “Science at the Theater” series of lectures at 7 p.m. tonight at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. He will discuss the development of photovoltaic technology so inexpensive and easy to install that even the most remote villages of the world could gain access to electricity. More>

chanowitzrescignoPeople: Scientists Named Outstanding Referees by APS

Michael Chanowitz (right) of the Physics Division and Thomas Rescigno of the Chemical Sciences Division have been named 2009 Outstanding Referees by the editors of the American Physical Society's journals Physical Review and Physical Review Letters. Initiated last year, the Outstanding Referee program honors the journals' anonymous peer reviewers by selecting a small percentage of the 42,000 who each year referee every research article published. Those honored are chosen based on the number, quality, and timeliness of their reports. More>

old hand young handHR Benefits: Workshop on Dealing With Caregiver Stress

The Human Resources Benefits Department is sponsoring an “Elder Care: Caregiver Stress and Success Workshop” on Friday, April 10. It will be held in Building 2-100B from 11 a.m. to noon. The guest speaker is Maureen Kelly, a licensed clinical social worker and elder care counselor from UC Berkeley's Care Services. The workshop will explore the stressors associated with care giving and will provide strategies for getting assistance and support in making difficult decisions. The workshop is free and open to all employees.

IT: Training for CAS SciFinder Available Tomorrow

Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) representative will be onsite tomorrow, conducting training sessions for experienced (morning) and introductory (afternoon) users. The sessions will be conducted using the latest web version of SciFinder. Those who plan to attend are asked to submit topics for discussion. Send e-mail here to register.

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