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Daily Archives: 5. March 2010 − News & Stories


Tou­rists melt Spits­ber­gen …

… some­thing like this was one of many head­lines in Nor­we­gi­an news­pa­pers after a report had been publis­hed about green­hous gas emis­si­ons in Sval­bard. The report was com­pi­led by KliF (»Kli­ma og forur­ens­nings­di­rek­to­rat«, Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ty on emis­si­ons) on request from the Nor­we­gi­an Minis­try of the enri­von­ment. Accord­ing to the report, lar­ge over­sea crui­se ships are respon­si­ble for the bulk of the 50 % incre­a­se of cli­ma­te-rele­vant gas emis­si­ons from 2000 to 2007, fol­lo­wed by coal mining (inclu­ding coal ship­ping) and ener­gy pro­duc­tion.

The report has recei­ved strong cri­ti­cism from several sides for using wrong data. For examp­le, the total use of fuels by over­sea crui­se ships in the regi­on has been cal­cu­la­ted to be 20,208 tons for 2007, but could easi­ly shown to be far less (7,764 tons, with care­ful assump­ti­ons, pro­bab­ly less) by using data from the Sys­sel­man­nen. Simi­lar­ly, too lar­ge num­bers have been used for coal trans­port ships and the coal power plant in Bar­ents­burg (assu­med 45,000 tons coal per year, but the con­sump­ti­on capa­ci­ty is appar­ent­ly only 30,000 tons).

The report is princi­pal­ly wel­co­med, but it is cri­ti­cis­ed that offi­cial reports that advi­se poli­tics use wrong num­bers, whe­re cor­rect ones could easi­ly be obtai­ned. KliF said that the aim was to give a gene­ral pic­tu­re and time to achie­ve cor­rect details could not be affor­ded. Cri­tics fear that careless use of vital data dama­ge faith of com­pa­nies and popu­la­ti­on in (envi­ron­men­tal) sci­ence and, con­se­quent­ly, admi­nis­tra­ti­on that is based on such data. It is deman­ded that the report should be with­drawn and a revi­sed ver­si­on should be publis­hed.

Accord­ing to the report, green­house gas emis­si­ons wit­hin Spits­ber­gen (Sval­bard in Nor­we­gi­an) amount to 1 % of the emis­si­ons in Nor­way. It is assu­med that, until 2025, coal mining decli­nes, but tou­rism may dou­ble. For 2007, local ener­gy pro­duc­tion has con­tri­bu­t­ed with 44 % to Spitsbergen’s total volu­me of rele­vant emis­si­ons (58 % in 2000), over­sea crui­se ships with 16 % (2000: 12 %) and coal trans­port ships from Svea with 14 % (2000: 12 %).

How much is it? That’s what we want to know.
Coal power plant in Bar­ents­burg.

Tourists melt Spitsbergen

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten, inclu­ding let­ters to the edi­tor from Tryg­ve Steen (AECO, in Sval­bard­pos­ten 08/2010), Ter­je Aune­vik (Port agen­cy Pole Posi­ti­on Spits­ber­gen, edi­ti­on 09/2010) KliF report

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