Science and Technology Making Headlines

Aug. 25, 2023

R&D World


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory won three 2023 R&D 100 awards, recognizing the Lab for development of software including zfp, Varorium and the CANcer Distributed Learning Environment (CANDLE).

LLNL Represents at R&D100 awards

R&D World magazine announced the winners of the 2023 R&D 100 Awards on Aug. 22, with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) taking home three awards in the Software/Services category.

LLNL was recognized for zfp, an extremely fast compressor and decompressor for floating-point data that achieves up to 2 gigabytes/second throughput; Varorium, a platform-agnostic library exposing monitor and control interfaces for several features in hardware architectures; and for CANDLE (CANcer Distributed Learning Environment), a Department of Energy/National Cancer Institute-developed machine learning and deep learning platform aimed at accelerating discovery of new cancer therapies and treatments. The CANDLE award was shared with collaborators Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

The renowned worldwide R&D100 science and innovation competition, celebrating its 61st year, received entries from 15 different countries and regions. This year’s esteemed judging panel included 45 well-respected industry professionals from across the world.


The late Maggie Gee, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist and a pioneering World War II aviator, is scheduled to be inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of

Ex-LLNL physicist Gee a Hall of Famer

The late Maggie Gee, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist and a pioneering World War II aviator, was scheduled to be inducted into the California Hall of Fame as the Independent went to press this week.

Gee was one of only two Chinese American women chosen to fly aircraft for the U.S. Army Air Force under the World War II program, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

At a time when women were not allowed into combat, the WASP program was created to carry out domestic aviation jobs, like ferrying aircraft and training new pilots, without tying up combat-qualified male pilots.

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From 1986 to 2022, temperatures declined in the higher levels of Earth's atmosphere (starting at top left, blue shades) while increasing in the layers of atmosphere closest to the Earth's surface (bottom row, red shades). Image courtesy of Benjamin Santer/UCLA.

Climate change chills the stratosphere

Human-driven climate change has caused large and concerning temperature decreases in the stratosphere since at least 1986, according to a UCLA-led study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study includes multiple co-authors from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

That sustained stratospheric cooling, the authors report, is evidence that the warming of Earth's surface and lower atmosphere is not a natural occurrence.

In particular, the study confirms the effects of human causes on the overall climate: The temperature changes in the stratosphere were 12 to 15 times greater than what could have been caused by nature.

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Noema windmill art

Kern County is not only a top carbon emitter but now also the state’s largest renewable energy producer. As it tries to become a leader in carbon removal, it faces a debate over who benefits from and who pays for this new economic model. Art by Dara O’Rourke.

A “Green Revolution” in the Central Valley?

Kern County seems almost ideal for carbon removal and storage. Growing acreage that’s going fallow can be used to host solar farms that power direct air capture facilities that then pump carbon dioxide underground, into a geology naturally ready for 1,000-year storage.

George Peridas, an energy and carbon management expert from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, recently noted that California’s geology is “a gift from God that the state received.” California is estimated to have enough geologic storage for 17 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide; meanwhile, Peridas said, the state emits roughly 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually. And as Peridas noted, Kern has the workforce and expertise for this exact job. “You have people who have been pulling out the carbon. They’re also going to be pretty good at putting the carbon back in.”

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The Lab Report is a weekly compendium of media reports on science and technology achievements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Though the Laboratory reviews items for overall accuracy, the reporting organizations are responsible for the content in the links below.