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MELBOURNE: Internet and other components of information communication and technology (ICT) industry annually produces more than 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, and is expected to double by 2020, a new study has found.
Researchers from the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) and Bell Labs explain that the information communications and technology (ICT) industry, which delivers Internet, video, voice and other cloud services, produces about 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions -- the same proportion as the aviation industry produces.
In the report published in journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers said their projections suggest that ICT sector's share in greenhouse gas emission is expected to double by 2020.
Information communications and technology (ICT) industry produces about 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, equivalent to what the aviation industry produces
On average, most data centers use approximately 6-12% of electricity to power their servers to perform routine computations. The rest of the power is spent to keep servers idling and at the ready in case of a power surge or brown-out that could slow or crash the servers.
"Worldwide, the digital warehouses use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants. A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town."
Most data centers run theirs servers 24/7 at maximum capacity, regardless of demand and as a result end up wasting approximately 90% of the electricity that is pulled right of the electrical grid. To make matters worse, most rely upon banks of generators that emit copious amounts of diesel fumes.
The inefficiency stems from the symbiotic relationship between users and the servers. Users want instantaneous access to all data, and the companies that are at risk if they fail to meet the demand.
"It’s staggering for most people, even people in the industry, to understand the numbers, the sheer size of these systems," said Peter Gross, who helped design hundreds of data centers. "A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town."
Google’s data centers currently consume approximately 300 million watts and Facebook’s, about 60 million watts. Many solutions are available to help combat this out-of-control power consumption, but in an industry that cannot afford any downtime, many companies are hesitant to implement any large scale changes.
The problem is two-fold. As users, we need to be less dependent on the data we expect to have at our finger tips at every second of every day and data centers and the computer manufacturing industry need stricter regulations and must be made to adhere to more stringent environmental standards.
The upper safety limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 parts per million (ppm). Atmospheric CO2 levels have stayed higher than 350 ppm since early 1988.
November 2012 marks the 5th warmest November since global temperature records began in 1880. The 10 warmest Novembers happened in the past 12 years. The warmest was November 2004. The coolest was November 1907.
Originally posted by Skywatcher2011
Now we all know how airlines are major consumers of fuel (even though most aircraft run on diesel), but if you think