Giant Cube in Copenhagen Helps Visualize One Tonne of CO2
Copenhagen, 8 December 2009 - If you've ever imagined or tried to imagine a tonne of CO2 in the atmosphere, now's your chance to see a visual depiction.
As the UN Climate Change Conference kicked off in Copenhagen this week, a giant multi-media art installation, intended to show what one metric tonne of carbon dioxide looks like, was unveiled on a lake in the Danish Capital.
Measured and stored at standard atmospheric pressure, one tonne of CO2 occupies a cube the size of a three-story building: 8.2m x 8.2m x 8.2m (27ft x 27ft x 27ft). This is the amount of CO2 the average person in an industrialized country emits each month.
The cube is constructed of 12 shipping containers stacked in an interlocking pattern on a custom engineered floatation barge. Two sides are covered with an architectural mesh fabric for video projection, while the other sides remain as open exposed shipping container surfaces and red, green, and blue (RGB) LED lighting system.
The use of shipping containers as the building blocks of the CO2 Cube reflects the idea of long term sustainability and recycling and re-use.
Mia Hanak, Executive Director, Millennium ART, which built the installation, explained that the project was twofold.
"Carbon emissions are invisible to the human eye," she said. "On average a person in industrialized countries emits one metric tonne of CO2 per month. When people see what it means, it opens their minds," she said.
Every day 80 million tonnes (cubes) of CO2 are emitted worldwide. In one year, the average American releases 22.9 tonnes of CO2, the average European releases 10.6 tonnes of CO2, the average Sub-Saharan releases 4.5 tonnes of CO2 and the average Indian releases 1.8 tonnes of CO2.
Millennium ART is proud to present CO2 CUBES in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI). CO2 CUBES is a digital media art installation and communications platform designed to make visible the monumental scale of carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere by human activity.
The CO2 CUBE is at Saint Jørgen's Lake in front of Tycho Brahe Planetarium, Copenhagen.
Artistic concept by Alfio Bonanno
Architecture by Christophe Cornubert, PUSH
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Digital imagery by Obscura Digital