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To: Ron who wrote (4739)1/24/2010 11:48:32 AM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
Worldwide Nitrogen Deficit Constrains Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Plants
ScienceDaily (Jan. 23, 2010) — Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants; limits on available nitrogen constrain how much plants can grow. This in turn affects the amount of carbon dioxide plants can absorb, which affects the global climate.



Using a framework that considers interactions of carbon and nutrients, Wang and Houlton have developed a new global estimate of nitrogen fixation rates.

The authors considered the amount of nitrogen plants require to store additional carbon and found that a substantial deficit of nitrogen exists for plants in most areas of the world. They argue that most climate models that do not take into account nitrogen have overestimated carbon uptake and therefore underestimated predicted global warming.

The authors suggest that it is important that the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consider interactions between the nitrogen and carbon cycles.

The research appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Authors include Ying-Ping Wang, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research and CAWCR; Benjamin Z. Houlton, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis
sciencedaily.com

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (4720)1/24/2010 2:05:00 PM
From: Sam
   of 22386
 
Richard Alley on Earth's Biggest Climate Control Knob
blogs.nasa.gov
[EDIT: I'll put the text here, but the real meat is in the links. I haven't watched this particular speech of Alley's yet, will get to it later, but have seen him before, and can vouch for the fact that he is an animated, interesting speaker, and a smart guy who has worked extensively on ice cores and abrupt climate change.]

Scientists aren't known for being the savviest of public speakers, but Penn State's Richard Alley is that rare researcher who knows how to give a talk. Alley -- who's willing to sing, dance, and gesticulate vigorously to get a point across -- gave a lecture about carbon dioxide to an overflow crowd of scientists at the American Geophysical Union meeting this year that's well worth watching.

Blogger and University of Toronto computer scientist Steve Easterbrook has an excellent blow-by-blow of the talk, but the heart of it came down to this point, which Alley made on his last slide:

An increasing body of science indicates that CO2 has been the most important controller of Earth's climate.

If you want the details, (and the details are a pleasure to sit through in this case because of Alley's gregarious speaking style) AGU has posted video and slides of the full talk. Still want to know more about carbon dioxide? NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released new details about the distribution of carbon dioxide in the troposphere, the region of Earth's atmosphere that is located between 5 to 12 kilometers, or 3 to 7 miles, above Earth's surface. (JPL also released a ten question quiz about the gas that you can access here).

Meanwhile, Alley participated in a NASA science update back in 2005 that explored the nature of sea level rise, a topic that NASA researchers continue to investigate and that you can explore interactively using our Sea Level Viewer.

--Adam Voiland, NASA's Earth Science News Team

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To: Sam who wrote (4741)1/25/2010 1:56:49 PM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
Scientists create model of monster 'Frankenstorm'
January 24, 2010 By ALICIA CHANG , AP Science Writer (AP) -- Think the recent wild weather that hammered California was bad? Experts are imagining far worse.


As torrential rains pelted wildfire-stripped hillsides and flooded highways, a team of scientists hunkered down at the California Institute of Technology to work on a "Frankenstorm" scenario - a mother lode wintry blast that could potentially sock the Golden State.

The hypothetical but plausible storm would be similar to the 1861-1862 extreme floods that temporarily moved the state capital from Sacramento to San Francisco and forced the then-governor to attend his inauguration by rowboat.

The scenario "is much larger than anything in living memory," said project manager Dale Cox with the U.S. Geological Survey.

In the scenario, the storm system forms in the Pacific and slams into the West Coast with hurricane-force winds, hitting Southern California the hardest. After more than a week of ferocious weather, the system stalls for a few days. Another storm brews offshore and this time pummels Northern California.

Such a monster storm could unleash as much as 8 feet of rain over three weeks in some areas, said research meteorologist Martin Ralph with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is part of the project.

It makes the latest Pacific storm system look like a drop in the bucket. A weeklong siege of storms walloped California, flooding coasts and roads, spawning tornados and forcing the evacuation of about 2,000 homes below fire-scarred mountains for fear of mudslides. The National Weather Service said the storms dumped up to a foot in the mountains northwest of Los Angeles in a week.

Weather experts say West Coast storms could get more frequent and severe with climate change. Last fall, a team of federal, state and academic experts was formed to tackle what would happen if a series of powerful storms lashed at the state for 23 days. The scenario is expected to be completed this summer and will be used in a statewide disaster drill next year.

Ironically, the team had scheduled meetings at Caltech to learn about the fictional storm's impact to dams, sewage treatment plants, transportation and the electrical grid. About a dozen canceled due to the storms.

"They had to deal with the real thing," said chief scientist Lucy Jones of the USGS.

The next step is to estimate economic damages as well as the risk of landslides and coastal erosion and impact to infrastructure and the environment.

Several scientists on storm watch were involved in the 2008 planning of a mock "Big One" on the San Andreas Fault that was incorporated into an earthquake preparedness drill.

The Great Flood of 1861-1862 was believed to be the most powerful and longest series of storms in state history, lasting a month and causing severe flooding.

The Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys were water-logged and spontaneous lakes popped up in the Mojave Desert and Los Angeles basin. Nearly a third of the young state's taxable land was destroyed.

Since there are few meteorological records available on the 1861-1862 events, scientists stitched together data from two recent storms to create "Frankenstorm."


More information: USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project: urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu


©2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
physorg.com

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (4742)1/27/2010 10:57:06 AM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
Indian glaciologist fires back at skeptics
By Keya Acharya

BANGALORE - "It is a fact that global warming is happening. If the Arctic Sea ice is melting, how can the Himalayan glaciers not be melting?" glaciologist Syed Iqbal Hasnain asked indignantly.

Amid the brouhaha over last week's retraction by a United Nations body of its 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, global warming skeptics quickly seized on the error, noting the rash of media reports on the issue, which they believe bolstered their position.

But Hasnain, who found himself at the center of the Himalayan meltdown controversy, said it is "ridiculous" to assume that the glaciers are not melting.

The scientist was reported to have pegged 2035 as the year the Himalayan glaciers would disappear due to global warming in a 1999 interview with a British publication, New Scientist. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) picked up the date from the ensuing article and reported it eight years later in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, only to retract it last week.

In the IPCC report, the United Nations body said the phenomenon of climate change would melt most Himalayan glaciers by 2035, which was taken from the New Scientist article published in 1999, according to the British broadsheet the Sunday Times in its January 17 issue. The article was based on a telephone interview with Hasnain by the journal's writer, Fred Pearce.

IPCC, which assesses valuable information on climate change, won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with former US vice president Al Gore.

Hasnain, who denied ever having given the 2035 time frame to the writer, said Pearce had gone on record in the same Sunday Times article, saying a 1999 report prepared by the scientist, which he read, "does not mention 2035 as a date by which any Himalayan glacier will melt".

Hasnain, a senior fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said the date cited in the New Scientist article was a "journalistic assumption interpolated by the interviewer over which I had no control".

Hasnain’s "Synthesis of Recent Studies on Himalayan Glaciers" sums up scientific research done in the past decade that proves the Himalayan glaciers are receding.

Glaciers in eastern and central Himalayas are especially sensitive to present atmospheric warming due to their summer snow-accumulation system, said the glaciologist's report, citing a 1984 study by Yasunari Ageta and K Higuchi.

An increase in summer air temperature not only enhances ice melt but also significantly reduces the accumulation by altering snowfall according to rainfall. In contrast, "winter-accumulation type" glaciers receive their main accumulation at lower temperatures and are thus less sensitive to air temperature increase, said Hasnain's report.

The Himalayas, located between the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateu, is the world's highest mountain range and include Mount Everest. It is home to more than 15,000 glaciers.

A 2009 study on glacial melt by a team of scientists led by A Shukla used optical satellite sensor data to gauge that the Samundratapu glacier in Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh in northern India, has deglaciated by 13.7 square kilometers in the past 41 years, with the snout retreating about 588 meters. The scientists concluded that all changes appeared to be linked to climate warming.

The issue of climate change has been on the forefront of vigorous discussions worldwide and the focus of earnest efforts by the international community to deal with its impact, including rapid glacier melting that has been known to trigger a wave of natural disasters.

Late last year, a flurry of e-mails sent out by climate scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain, claiming some statistical data had been rigged to prove climate change, caused a public uproar. The scientists at the heart of the controversy said their e-mails were hacked and taken out of context.

Hasnain said vested interests are trying to denigrate scientists who are "diligently doing their best to research the issue".

Collecting and collating scientific evidence on glacial retreat in the Himalayas has been both physically near impossible and technically difficult. According to the Kathmandu-based International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) there are still no systematic measurements of glacial mass balance in the Himalayan region.

China is the only country in the region that has been conducting long-term mass balance studies of some glaciers. It will expand this study to more Himalayan glaciers in the future, said ICIMOD.

In November 2009, accompanying a group of international journalists to Khardung La, India's highest pass, to observe the state of receding glaciers, Hasnain found scientific evidence of glacial retreat at Chota Sigri in Himachal Pradesh, Drang Drung in Zanskar region of Ladakh and in East Rathong in the eastern Himalaya.

Chota Sigri showed a sharp decline in the annual mass balance, with the glacier moving at 40 meters per year in the higher reaches and at 25 meters each year in the lower reaches.

"It is definitely shrinking," Hasnain told the group of European, American and South Asian journalists.

Along with Dr Veerabhadra Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Hasnain also presented scientific evidence of how black carbon aerosols, contributing to the "atmospheric brown cloud" phenomenon, were being deposited on the Himalayan snows and causing temperatures to accelerate even further than "normal" global warming.

In India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests appears to feel vindicated over its charge, made mid-2009, that the IPCC view had been "alarmist". IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri, who is also the director of TERI, had described the ministry's report as based on "voodoo science".

The embarrassing debacle over the projected date of disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers has clouded discussions on the poor state of these ice masses, especially the smaller ones.

In Ladakh, in India's northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, retired rural development civil engineer Chewang Norphel quietly refutes claims that there is insufficient scientific data to prove that India's glaciers are receding.

"I am the scientific data," said Norphel. "I have seen, for instance, the size of the Khardung La glacier since I was a child: it was solid ice then," he told the international journalists' group in November 2009.

Norphel, known popularly as India's "glacier man", has been building high-altitude water-conservation channels that freeze over as "artificial glaciers" to beat the lack of water from the receding Himalayan glaciers.

The Khardung La is one example of Ladakh's melting glaciers, barely recognizable now as a glacier. Over 70% of the Ladakh district's water supply is sourced in springtime from the melting snows off glaciers and is the sole source of water for irrigation for its remote mountain communities.

But in recent years, rising temperatures have resulted in decreasing snowfall in the upper-reach "accumulation" zones of these glaciers, leading to reduced waters in the spring.

A survey of 20 villages and 211 individuals over 65 years of age in Ladakh district, done by the French non-government organization GERES (Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarites) found that 90% of them felt that winters were now warmer.

Metereological data analyzed from 1973 onwards by GERES shows a rise of one degree Celsius in the winter months in Ladakh, coupled with a sharp decline in snowfall and an equally sharp increase in mean summer temperatures in July, August and September.

The changing temperatures have already begun impacting the region's biodiversity and its communities, said the international conservation organization Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

"The breeding of the bar-headed goose and the black-necked crane has not been on schedule in recent years," said Nisa Khatoon, project officer of WWF at Leh.

She added that migration routes of communities on the Tsokar lake at Leh, which weave the world-famous Pashmina shawls, "have become more frequented as these pastoral communities migrate due to degrading pastures".

atimes.com

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To: koan who wrote (4395)1/28/2010 11:41:07 AM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
Arctic 'Melt Season' Is Growing Longer, New Research Demonstrates
January 27, 2010 by Kathryn Hansen Enlarge

New NASA-led research shows that the melt season for Arctic sea ice has lengthened by an average of 20 days over the span of 28 years, or 6.4 days per decade. The finding stems from scientists' work to compile the first comprehensive record of melt onset and freeze-up dates -- the "melt season" -- for the entire Arctic.


The melt season begins each April when the sunless winter gives way to sunrise and spring, and water and air temperatures rise. By September, the sea ice shrinks to a minimum and begins refreezing, bringing the annual melt season to an end.

The longer melt season, described by Thorsten Markus of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in the Journal of Geophysical Research -- Oceans, has implications for the future of Arctic sea ice. Open water that appears earlier in the season absorbs more heat from the sun throughout summer, further warming the water and promoting more melting.

"This feedback process has always been present, yet with more extensive open water this feedback becomes even stronger and further boosts ice loss," Markus said. "Melt is starting earlier, but the trend towards a later freeze-up is even stronger because of this feedback effect."




To examine melt season length, Markus and colleagues used data from satellite passive microwave sensors, which can "see" indications of melt. The result is an accurate account of the melt seasons from 1979 to 2007.

"Given that the Arctic ocean is nearly twice the size of the continental United States, it would be impossible to track change like this without long-term satellite records," said Thomas Wagner, NASA's cryosphere program scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington.

Analyzing melt-season trends for 10 different Arctic regions, the research team discovered that melt season lengthened the most -- more than 10 days per decade -- in Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea, the Laptev and East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Some of that change is due to melt onset occurring about three days earlier per decade in some areas. Earlier melt means more heat can be absorbed by the open water, promoting more melting and later freeze-up dates -- more than eight days per decade later in some areas. Only the Sea of Okhotsk turned up a shorter melt season. The reasons for the regional differences are currently being investigated.



"The onset of melting and melt season length are important variables for understanding the Arctic climate system," Markus added. "Given the recent large losses of the Arctic summer ice cover, it has become critical to investigate the causes of the decline and the consequences of its continued decline."

The lengthened melt season could impact more than just the Arctic ice and ocean. According to Markus, "marine ecosystems are very sensitive to changes in melt onset and freeze-up dates."

"Changes in the Arctic sea ice cover may have profound effects on North America’s climate," said Wagner. "Studies like this one show us how ice responds to variations in the ocean and atmosphere and improve the predictive models that will help us plan for climate change."


Provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
physorg.com

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (4744)1/28/2010 11:42:23 AM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
The Greening of the Pentagon’s Master Strategy Review
By Nathan Hodge January 27, 2010 | 6:12 pm


Climate change may be an “accelerant of instability” in future conflicts, and the U.S. military needs to plan for possible environmental catastrophes and resource wars, according to the Pentagon’s soon-to-be-released master strategy document.

The crew at Inside Defense (subscription only, sorry!) got their hands on a “pre-decisional” draft of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the congressionally mandated, once-every-four-years review of defense policy. The much-anticipated document, slated for release on Monday, is supposed to be a broad “statement of purpose” for the Defense Department. Defense contractors, policy wonks and other national security types will be reading it closely for any possible shift in priorities.

Among other things, the draft QDR suggests the military will have to start planning for operations in which rising sea levels, an ice-free Arctic and higher overall global temperatures may be an important factor. What’s more, it suggests that military planners will have to prepared for the knock-on effects of climate change: forced migration, resource scarcity and the spread of disease.

In parallel, the draft QDR calls for a bigger push for energy independence by the military. The Defense Department, the document notes, is already “moving out smartly” to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, and to tap more renewable sources of energy.

The 2006 QDR (a.k.a., the “Long War” QDR), by contrast, didn’t leave much room for the environment: It made some mention of the possibility that terrorists might target energy infrastructure, but it didn’t touch on climate change at all. But this focus on resource issues should come as little surprise to Danger Room readers. We’ve written extensively about the military’s interest in solar power, wind farms and other forms of green electricity as a way to avoid vulnerable supply lines and cut down on skyrocketing fuel costs.

It also points to the clout of one D.C. think tank, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). The think tank — which has pioneered the field of “natural security” — just released a new study on how the Pentagon has incorporated climate change and its effects into the process of drafting the QDR.

In fact, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy, one of the founders of CNAS, has an article on the official QDR website that outlines a vision of the “contested commons” in sea, air, space and cyberspace. That’s another concept that’s near and dear to the Shadow Pentagon: CNAS yesterday unveiled a major report on the global contested commons in an event featuring Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, Gen. Carrol Chandler, the vice chief of staff of the Air Force, and Chris Inglis, the deputy head of the National Security Agency.
wired.com

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (4744)1/28/2010 4:17:26 PM
From: koan
   of 22386
 
We used to start spring around April (snow all gone). This year it is looking like we will start spring in Februrary (almost no snow now and very mild weather.

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To: koan who wrote (4746)1/31/2010 12:53:38 PM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
Obama Orders Government To Slash GHG Emissions 28%


President Obama has ordered the government, the largest consumer of energy in the U.S., to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020.

The move follows President Obama’s signing of Executive Order 13514 in October, which set environmental performance goals for federal agencies. Each agency was required to submit a 2020 GHG pollution reduction target from its estimated 2008 baseline to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget by January 4, 2010. The 28% target announced today is the aggregate of those 35 federal agency self-reported targets.

By June, each federal agency must send the White House Office of Management and Budget a sustainability plan, the New York Times reports. The OMB will validate and score each agency’s sustainability plan. Annual progress will be measured and reported online to the public.

The federal government, which occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services, spent more than $24.5 billion on electricity and fuel in 2008 alone. Achieving the federal GHG pollution reduction target will reduce federal energy use by the equivalent of 646 trillion BTUs, equal to 205 million barrels of oil, and taking 17 million cars off the road for one year. This is also equivalent to a cumulative total of $8 to $11 billion in avoided energy costs through 2020, according to the White House.

To reach the goal, federal departments and agencies will measure current energy and fuel use, increase energy efficiency and shift to clean energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal.

Nancy Sutley, Chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said that she believes most of the program is already paid for, the Times article reports. Stimulus funding has lead to an increase in government efficiency projects. Federal agencies spent more than $1.7 billion last year on energy-efficiency projects – an increase of 80 percent over 2008. About two-thirds of the investments were paid for with appropriated dollars, primarily from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with the remainder financed by private-sector financing arrangements, such as Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Services Contracts (UESCs). Under these programs, contractors pay for renovations upfront and are paid back over time with cost savings that result from reduced energy consumption. But ESPCs have their drawbacks – projects funded through ESPCs cost nearly 2 1/2 times what they would cost if funded through direct appropriations.

Executive Order 13514 calls for a 30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020, 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020, 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015, 95% of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements;

The order won’t affect combat operations, excluding more than 60% of the DOD’s greenhouse gas emissions such as jet fuel for planes and diesel for tanks, The Wall Street Journal reports, pointing out that the DOD’s energy consumption represents more than three-quarters of the federal government’s total energy budget.

But the DOD is making cuts in other areas. Earlier this week it was announced that the United States Air Force has entered into a partnership with Fotowatio Renewable Ventures of San Francisco to lease part of the Edwards Air Force Base for a massive solar array with an estimated production capacity of up to 500 megawatts.

The Army has set a goal of cutting GHG emissions 30 percent.

The U.S. Navy reduced its overall energy consumption level by 12 percent in 2008 with projects centered on wind energy generation, solar photovoltaic systems, geothermal systems and ocean thermal energy conversion at military bases primarily in California.

Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus recently announced five energy targets for the Navy and Marine corps, of which biofuels is a major component.

In 2007, President Bush issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to reduce their overall energy use by three percent annually through 2015 and to cut water consumption two percent annually over the same period. It mandates that agencies expand procurement programs focusing on environmentally friendly products, including bio-based products.
environmentalleader.com

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (4747)1/31/2010 1:03:34 PM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 22386
 
In Portland, Going Green and Growing Vertical in a Bid for Energy Savings
By WILLIAM YARDLEY
Published: January 30, 2010
PORTLAND, Ore. — Urban gardening used to seem subversive. People planted tomatoes in public parks, strung their hops to rooftops to make homebrew and reclaimed empty lots as community farms, never mind the property owner.


Yet here in one of the more thoroughly tilled cities in America, subversive has come full circle: the federal government plans to plant its own bold garden directly above a downtown plaza. As part of a $133 million renovation, the General Services Administration is planning to cultivate “vegetated fins” that will grow more than 200 feet high on the western facade of the main federal building here, a vertical garden that changes with the seasons and nurtures plants that yield energy savings.

“They will bloom in the spring and summer when you want the shade, and then they will go away in the winter when you want to let the light in,” said Bob Peck, commissioner of public buildings for the G.S.A. “Don’t ask me how you get them irrigated.”

Rainwater, captured on the roof, and perhaps even “gray water” recycled from the interior plumbing are both possibilities, the architects say. But they concede that they are still figuring out some of the finer points of renovating the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, which was completed in 1975 and is currently 18 stories of concrete, glass and minimal inspiration.

Who will prune the facade? Maybe the same folks who wash skyscraper windows, the architects say. Perhaps the exterior concrete panels removed in the renovation could be reused as salmon habitat in a nearby river.

The G.S.A. says the building will use 60 percent to 65 percent less energy than comparable buildings and estimates a savings of $280,000 annually in energy costs. Solar panels could provide up to 15 percent of the building’s power needs. The use of rainwater and low-flow plumbing fixtures will reduce potable water consumption by 68 percent. And energy for lighting will be halved.

“It will be one of the more energy-efficient high-rises in America, possibly in the world,” said James Cutler, whose architecture firm, Cutler Anderson, led the design work.

The building has long been in line for renovation and improvements in energy efficiency, but money did not come through until the passage of the federal stimulus package last year, with its emphasis on environmentally friendly projects. That intensified the environmental ambitions; the building, the largest federal stimulus project in Oregon, is being renovated under the G.S.A’s new Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the plan. In December, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, both Republicans, criticized the cost of the project and ranked it second on a list of what they called the 100 worst stimulus-financed projects. The G.S.A. has said that report relied on incomplete data, but the project’s cost has also raised eyebrows here.

Joe Vaughan, a longtime commercial real estate broker here, said that the building’s office space would ultimately cost more per square foot than some other environmentally-conscious projects that are built new.

“As a taxpayer, I think it’s a horrible waste of money that no private developer would undertake,” Mr. Vaughan said.

G.S.A. officials said the cost of constructing federal office buildings cannot be compared to private buildings because of security and other government requirements. Nor, they said, should the construction costs of the building be viewed in isolation.

“The idea is that the cost savings are in the energy efficiency,” said Caren Auchman, a spokeswoman for the G.S.A.

There are questions about whether the efficiency efforts will work as designed. “Most of what we put in our buildings is tried and true,” said Mr. Peck, of the G.S.A. “On some part of it, we’re prepared to be a beta tester.”

“My dream,” Mr. Peck added, “is we will find a technology that needs a test and we will make the market for it.”

The renovation is scheduled to be completed by 2013, said Donald Eggleston, the president of SERA Architects, which is overseeing the project for the G.S.A. This summer, he said, landscaping experts will experiment with vines and cover plants that can endure Portland’s wet, mild winters and its dry, hot summers — and do so at varying heights.

“We may train them on some vines in the nursery,” Mr. Eggleston said. “About 50 percent of the windows we need to shade every summer. You can’t take little seedlings up there in Year 1, because you won’t have anything up there for five years.”
nytimes.com

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (4747)1/31/2010 3:56:30 PM
From: koan
   of 22386
 
He should have done it in 5 years. too slow. We are having spring up here almost two months early!

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