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Research Highlights

Modeling POPs and Climate

For the first time, a personal computer-based model has evaluated global-scale relationships between atmospheric concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and climatic patterns. The research, published in Environmental Science & Technology, was conducted by Matthew McLeod (now at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Thomas McKone of Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and Bill Riley of the Earth Sciences Division. They demonstrated that a new model they developed, Berkeley-Trent (BETR)-Global, can analyze supercomputer data, such as the relationship between the concentrations of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the atmosphere and a global-scale climatic pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation.

For more information, click here.

Map of the BETR model

Figure 1. The BETR model shows how toxaphene, a pesticide that was historically used in the southeastern United States, has spread across North America. The darker region on the map, the higher the toxaphene loadings from the atmosphere to the Great Lakes. Source: Matt MacLeod, Trent University


New York Times

Artists rendering of the new New York Times building

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has decided to fund additional work on a project to develop and test energy-efficient technologies and operational practices for the new headquarters building of the New York Times Company. Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) scientists are writing up research results from earlier phases of this project, involving the testing of automated shading and daylighting controls for the building.

EETD researchers recently worked at the New York Times daylighting mockup in Flushing NY to walk through newly developed instrumentation and protocols with the Times staff, the commissioning agent, and the vendors. They also met with the Times engineering team to develop and evaluate the potential of demand-response strategies for the building.

In the next phase, the researchers will develop commissioning procedures and test protocols to ensure that the installed automated shading and daylighting controls for the building meet the owner's stated specifications before occupants move-in.

A description of the research is here and the project website is here.

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