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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2007
Date:10/10/2007

rground. Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists are using new molecular tools to characterize microbial life beneath the soil and determine the role bacteria, protozoa, viruses and fungi play in helping plants and soils take up the extra carbon dioxide collecting in the atmosphere. Such understanding is key to developing models of potential climate change scenarios and could also play a role in human attempts to mitigate and adapt to global warming. In one such project, ORNL researchers are studying microbial activity in a field of switchgrass, a potential bioenergy crop, the development of which could both help displace fossil fuel emissions and sequester unwanted carbon from those emissions. [Contact: Larisa Brass, (865) 574-4163; brasslm@ornl.gov]


ENERGY -- Steeper slopes . . .

A study of roofing damage incurred by Gulf Coast structures following Hurricane Katrina has found that buildings with steep sloped roofs held up better against the high-wind storm damage than buildings that had low sloped roofs. The study conducted on behalf of The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues through a cooperative research and development agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratorys Buildings Technology Center determined that steeper sloped roofs held up better due to the fact the building materials composing the roof structure defend better against wind uplift forces that occur during hurricanes. The study, led by ORNL engineer Andre Desjarlais, concludes that construction of these structures should adhere to current local building codes that have been upgraded over previous codes, closely following manufacturers guidelines and using compliant edging systems. The funding source is DOEs Office of Building Technologies. [Contact: Fred Strohl, (865) 574-4165; strohlhf@ornl.gov]


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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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