The Desert Research Institute is the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education , the organization that oversees all publicly supported higher education in the U.S. state of Nevada. At DRI, approximately 440 research faculty and support staff engage in more than $27 million in environmental research each year. DRI's environmental research programs are divided into three core divisions and two interdisciplinary centers . Established in 1988 and sponsored by AT&T, the institute's Nevada Medal awards "outstanding achievement in science and engineering". Wikipedia.
Wilcox E.M.,Desert Research Institute
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Marine stratocumulus cloud properties, and the free-tropospheric environment above them, are examined in NASA A-Train satellite data for cases where smoke from seasonal burning of the West African savannah overlay the persistent southeast Atlantic stratocumulus cloud deck. CALIPSO space-borne lidar observations show that features identified as layers of aerosol occur predominantly between 2 km and 4 km. Layers identified as cloud features occur predominantly below 1.5 km altitude and beneath the layer of elevated smoke aerosol. The diurnal mean shortwave heating rates attributable to the absorption of solar energy in the aerosol layer is nearly 1.5 K d -1 for an aerosol optical thickness value of 1, and increases to 1.8 K d -1 when the smoke resides above clouds owing to the additional component of upward solar radiation reflected by the cloud. As a consequence of this heating, the 700 hPa air temperature above the cloud deck is warmer by approximately 1 K on average for cases where smoke is present above the cloud compared to cases without smoke above cloud. The warmer conditions in the free-troposphere above the cloud during smoke events coincide with cloud liquid water path values that are greater by 20 g m -2 and cloud tops that are lower for overcast conditions compared to periods with low amounts of smoke. The observed thickening and subsidence of the cloud layer are consistent with published results of large-eddy simulations showing that solar absorption by smoke above stratocumulus clouds increases the buoyancy of free-tropospheric air above the temperature inversion capping the boundary layer. Increased buoyancy inhibits the entrainment of dry air through the cloud-top, thereby helping to preserve humidity and cloud cover in the boundary layer. The direct radiative effect of absorbing aerosols residing over a bright cloud deck is a positive radiative forcing (warming) at the top of the atmosphere. However, the greater liquid water path for cases of smoke overlaying cloud contributes an additional negative semi-direct radiative forcing (cooling) of climate in locations such as the southeast Atlantic Ocean owing to the enhanced albedo of the thicker cloud. © 2010 Author(s). Source
Wilcox E.M.,Desert Research Institute
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Observations from Earth observing satellites indicate that dark carbonaceous aerosols that absorb solar radiation are widespread in the tropics and subtropics. When these aerosols mix with clouds, there is generally a reduction of cloudiness owing to absorption of solar energy in the aerosol layer. Over the subtropical South Atlantic Ocean, where smoke from savannah burning in southern Africa resides above a persistent deck of marine stratocumulus clouds, radiative heating of the smoke layer leads to a thickening of the cloud layer. Here, satellite observations of the albedo of overcast scenes of 25 km 2 size or larger are combined with additional satellite observations of clouds and aerosols to estimate the top-of-atmosphere direct radiative forcing attributable to presence of dark aerosol above bright cloud, and the negative semi-direct forcing attributable to the thickening of the cloud layer. The average positive direct radiative forcing by smoke over an overcast scene is 9.2±6.6 W mg -2 for cases with an unambiguous signal of absorbing aerosol over cloud in passive ultraviolet remote sensing observations. However, cloud liquid water path is enhanced by 16.3±7.7 g m -2 across the range of values for sea surface temperature for cases of smoke over cloud. The negative radiative forcing associated with this semi-direct effect of smoke over clouds is estimated to be-5.9±3.5 W m -2. Therefore, the cooling associated with the semi-direct cloud thickening effect compensates for greater than 60 % of the direct radiative effect. Accounting for the frequency of occurrence of significant absorbing aerosol above overcast scenes leads to an estimate of the average direct forcing of 1.0±0.7 W m -2 contributed by these scenes averaged over the subtropical southeast Atlantic Ocean during austral winter. The regional average of the negative semi-direct forcing is-0.7±0.4 W m -2. Therefore, smoke aerosols overlaying the decks of overcast marine stratocumulus clouds considered here yield a small net positive radiative forcing, which results from the difference of two larger effects. © 2012 Author(s). Source
Desert Research Institute | Date: 2015-06-12
In one embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method for producing a solid fuel. A feedstock that includes algae or delipidized algal residue and a liquid carrier is heated to a suitable temperature, at a suitable pressure, and for a suitable amount of time to form a desired amount of solid hydrochar. The hydrochar is collected and compressed into a compressed solid.
Desert Research Institute and University of Delaware | Date: 2012-08-22
Methods and computer readable storage mediums for identifying structurally or functionally significant amino acid sequences encoded by a genome are disclosed. At least one structurally or functionally significant amino acid sequence encoded by a genome may be identified by compiling an observed frequency for each of a plurality of amino acid words encoded by the genome, calculating with a computer an expected frequency for each of the plurality of amino acid words encoded by the genome, and identifying at least one structurally or functionally significant amino acid sequence encoded by the genome based at least in part on the observed and expected frequencies for each of the plurality of amino acid words encoded by the genome.
Desert Research Institute | Date: 2014-03-28
In one embodiment, the present disclosure provides an apparatus and method for supporting a tubing bundle during installation or removal. The apparatus includes a clamp for securing the tubing bundle to an external wireline. In various examples, the clamp is external to the tubing bundle or integral with the tubing bundle. According to one method, a tubing bundle and wireline are deployed together and the tubing bundle periodically secured to the wireline using a clamp. In another embodiment, the present disclosure provides an apparatus and method for coupling conduit segments together. A first pump obtains a sample and transmits it through a first conduit to a reservoir accessible by a second pump. The second pump further conducts the sample from the reservoir through a second conduit. In a specific example, one or more clamps are used to connect the first and/or second conduits to an external wireline.