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Emissions From Computing, ICT Could Be Worse Than Previously Thought

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Accessing a computer in a datacenter.

The researchers point out that some prior estimates do not account for the full life-cycle and supply chain of information and communications technology products and infrastructure.

Credit: panumas nikhomkhai/Shutterstock

Global information and communications technology (ICT)'s greenhouse gas emissions may be worse than previously calculated, suggest researchers at the U.K.'s Lancaster University and sustainability consultancy Small World Consulting.

The team said earlier estimates of ICT’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions at 1.8% to 2.8% likely are conservative, as they do not factor in the full life-cycle and supply chain of ICT products and infrastructure.

The researchers suggest a share of 2.1% to 3.9% of emissions could be more accurate, although uncertainties surround these calculations.

The team also warns that new computing and ICT trends such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain and cryptocurrencies could further increase ICT emissions.

From Lancaster University (U.K.) News
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