We’ve had a bit of fun this morning. We thought we’d found the reason behind all that melting ice at the poles.
Kevin uses DIY Maps for his interactive climate mapping* of worldwide temperature trends and noticed that there is a list of sites using the mapping freeware on the DIY Map examples page. One that caught his eye was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (listed under Non-profit and Activist!).
The UNFCCC uses DIY Maps to show the locations of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects worldwide. Each dot represents a renewable energy or CO2 reduction project. The dots at the poles sort of jumped out at us, including a 10MW Biomass energy project burning rice husks just North of Svalbard and further North still a landill gas project recovering and burning methane (and saving 26,061 metric tonnes CO2 equivalent per annum). Ah, so that’s how Al Gore is so sure the pole will be free of ice in a few years!
In the Antarctic there seems to be a thermal recovery and methane wastewater plant for a distillery. Oooh – could this be for vodka? What brand might it be – Down Under? No isn’t that Australian? Perhaps Iceberg or Polar Ice? Hmm, they’re Canadian. Perhaps they plan use the Antartctic temperatures to freeze the water out of the fermentation liquor rather than distilling it. Would that offset the carbon used in transporting the grain to the pole – hardly? Well the truth is even stranger, it seems to be owned by a Mexican mezcal (tequila-like spirit) distillery – and based in Mexico. Interesting.
“Other participants: Switzerland – South Pole Carbon Asset Management”
The dots in the Arctic are misplaced too. The biomass plant is in India (pity – we’d worked out that rice husks might be very light to transport by sea – providing they didn’t get wet in any way) and the landfill site is in Korea (oh well, I had visions of an eventual man-made island with a permanent North Pole airstrip that would be useful for rescuing Arctic explorers, but never mind). There are a few other ‘lost’ projects – a Malaysian landfill site when you click on the dot in Belarus, for example. Let’s hope they aren’t too quick to fix it. It is rather fun imagining how you could make these projects work.
(*note new URL for Kevins’ climate maps is: http://www.climateapplications.com/, but old links should still work)