Recovery of a CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) sensor at sea.
Monitoring atmospheric chemistry using mass spectrometers built at Caltech.
The Alvin submersible returns from a dive.
Sampling for cosmogenic exposure dating, Kauai.

Scientists from a broad range of disciplines are collaborating at the Linde Center to generate a comprehensive understanding of our global environment—including the impacts of human activities on it. They investigate Earth's atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, and biosphere and their mutual interactions, characterizing their present and past states through innovative measurements, developing models to describe their evolution, and synthesizing measurements and models to produce sound predictions of the future. Among the questions addressed at the Linde Center are:

  • How has Earth's climate varied in the past and how will it change in the future?
  • How does pollution affect air quality locally and far from its sources, and how does it affect cloud cover and climate change?
  • What happens to carbon dioxide after it enters the atmosphere?

The Linde Center is located within the unique Linde + Robinson Laboratory, likely the most energy-efficient laboratory building in the United States. The Linde + Robinson Laboratory and nearby buildings house state-of-the art laboratories for oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry, environmental microbiology, and environmental chemistry and technology.

More about the Linde Center »

Featured Event


Solution to the Allusion Hidden in PERCEPTION

The Caltech Community has been stumped and, as a result, $1,000 has been added to the endowment for global environmental science. No one in the Caltech Community came forward within one year with the correct answer to the contest that was announced on January 24, 2012 by alumnus and Vice Chair of Caltech's Board of Trustees, Ronald Linde, at the dedication of Linde+Robinson Laboratory.

Several members of the Caltech community submitted very insightful entries that correctly identified hidden allusions contained in PERCEPTION, and several of the clues were correctly identified. None of the entrants, however, identified the specific allusion that matches all of the clues, as required by the contest rules. Below is the solution:

Solution: The number of parallel hexahedron faces (12) in PERCEPTION equals the number of rare earth elements discovered since Robinson Laboratory was built in 1932. The number of different clues also is 12.

Details: Clues contained in the 'Statement of Clues' are identified below by underlining, with explanations (where deemed helpful) in brackets and red type.


History [of science and of Caltech] and Mystery: A Number [12] of Clues for a Test in PERCEPTION

If Sherlock Holmes, the fictional master of perception, had been a member of the Caltech [Caltech's history] community, he would not have needed a dozen [12 parallel faces/12 discoveries] clues to discover the allusion. At the time of discovery he characteristically would have exclaimed, "Elementary [pertaining to elements], my dear Watson!"

Science has progressed enormously since Robinson Laboratory was built. Now the Global Environmental Science initiative will provide a rare opportunity for Caltech's [same clue as above] divisions, working in concert and in parallel, to address an impending crisis that faces our planet [Earth].

Thank you for everyone's participation and interest. For the Artist's Statement, the original Contest and two additional clues announced late in 2012, please click here or visit

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Flagan, Richard C. (2014) Continuous-Flow Differential Mobility Analysis of Nanoparticles and Biomolecules. Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 5 . ISSN 1947-5438.

Chen, Jinqiang and Bordoni, Simona (2014) Intermodel spread of East Asian summer monsoon simulations in CMIP5. Geophysical Research Letters . ISSN 0094-8276.

Zhang, X. and Seinfeld, J. H. (2013) A functional group oxidation model (FGOM) for SOA formation and aging. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13 (12). pp. 5907-5926. ISSN 1680-7316

Lòpez-Yglesias, Xerxes and Flagan, Richard C. (2013) Population Balances of Micron-Sized Aerosols in a Bipolar Ion Environment. Aerosol Science and Technology, 47 (6). pp. 681-687. ISSN 0278-6826

Ryerson, T. B. and Flagan, R. C. and Seinfeld, J. H. (2013) The 2010 California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) field study. Journal of Geophysical Research D, 118 (11). pp. 5830-5866. ISSN 2169-897X.

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Kulkarni, Gargi and Wu, Chia-Hung and Newman, Dianne K. (2013) The General Stress Response Factor EcfG Regulates Expression of the C-2 Hopanoid Methylase HpnP in Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1. Journal of Bacteriology, 195 (11). pp. 2490-2498. ISSN 0021-9193

Minson, S. E. and Simons, M. and Beck, J. L. (2013) Bayesian inversion for finite fault earthquake source models I—theory and algorithm. Geophysical Journal International . ISSN 0956-540X

Lucey, Kaitlyn S. and Leadbetter, Jared R. (2013) Catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and other meta-cleavage catabolic pathway genes in the “anaerobic” termite gut spirochete Treponema primitia. Molecular Ecology . ISSN 0962-1083. (In Press)

Kanda, Ravi V. S. and Hetland, Eric A. and Simons, Mark (2013) An asperity model for fault creep and interseismic deformation in northeastern Japan. Geophysical Journal International, 192 (1). pp. 38-57. ISSN 0956-540X

DiBiase, Roman A. and Lamb, Michael P. (2013) Vegetation and wildfire controls on sediment yield in bedrock landscapes. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (6). pp. 1093-1097. ISSN 0094-8276

Cho, Kangwoo and Kwon, Daejung and Hoffmann, Michael R. (2013) Electrochemical treatment of human waste coupled with molecular hydrogen production. RSC Advances, 4 (9). pp. 4596-4608. ISSN 2046-2069.

Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth and Green-Saxena, Abigail and Orphan, Victoria J. (2013) Whole Cell Immunomagnetic Enrichment of Environmental Microbial Consortia Using rRNA-Targeted Magneto-FISH. In: Microbial Metagenomics, Metatranscriptomics, and Metaproteomics. Methods in Enzymology. No.531. Academic Press , pp. 21-44. ISBN 9780124078635

Zhan, Zhongwen and Tsai, Victor C. and Clayton, Robert W. (2013) Spurious velocity changes caused by temporal variations in ambient noise frequency content. Geophysical Journal International, 194 (3). pp. 1574-1581. ISSN 0956-540X

Lamb, Michael P. and Mackey, Benjamin H. and Farley, Kenneth A. (2013) Amphitheater-headed canyons formed by megaflooding at Malad Gorge, Idaho. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America . ISSN 0027-8424.

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Chapman, Alan D. and Saleeby, Jason B. and Eiler, John (2013) Slab flattening trigger for isotopic disturbance and magmatic flare-up in the southernmost Sierra Nevada batholith, California. Geology, 41 (9). pp. 1007-1010. ISSN 0091-7613

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Linde Center for Global Environmental Science
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd., MC 131-24
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-8731

Background image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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