Greenhouse Gases from Information Technologies

Greenhouse Gases from Information Technologies May Than Thought

Global computing has a larger-than-anticipated share of greenhouse gas emissions, and these emissions will continue to increase significantly unless action is taken, a new study indicates. Lancaster University and sustainability consultancy Small World Consulting Ltd. A research team at the company claims that previous calculations of the share of information and computer technologies in global greenhouse gas emissions may not fully reflect the real climate impact of the industry. These shares, which are estimated to be between 1.8-2.8%, show only a part of the table.

The researchers note that some of these previous estimates do not take into account the full lifecycle and supply chain of information and computer technology products and infrastructures. Examples of these are the energy spent in the production of products and devices, the carbon cost associated with all of the components and the operational carbon footprint of the companies behind them, the energy consumed while using the device, and the disposal of the products after completing their purpose. Researchers suggest that the real share of information and computer technologies in global greenhouse gases may be around 2.1-3.9%, but they emphasize that there are still significant uncertainties in these estimates. While comparisons of a similar nature are not easy to make, these figures suggest that information and computer technologies are causing larger spillovers than the aviation industry (around % of global emissions).

In addition to these, the article warns that new trends such as big data and artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain and crypto money may lead to larger increases in the greenhouse gas footprint of the industry. In the article published five days ago in the Patterns bulletin, the footprints of two main problems, information and computer technologies, and the impact of these technologies on the rest of the economy were examined.

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