New studies show the huge environmental impact of cloud computing

Jack Stewart Jun 12, 2019
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Much of our modern lives depends on server farms, like this one, the Equinix Paris data center called PA8. JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images

New studies show the huge environmental impact of cloud computing

Jack Stewart Jun 12, 2019
Much of our modern lives depends on server farms, like this one, the Equinix Paris data center called PA8. JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Living an always-connected, app-driven life isn’t great for the environment.

It’s an issue highlighted by several recent studies that look at the carbon emissions of artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and even streaming music. They all require lots of power, and that power pours a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Researchers have been surprised by what they’ve found: Bitcoin mining and maintenance has the same carbon footprint as Kansas City. Training one typical AI model emits as much CO2 as five cars over their entire lifetimes. And streaming music services dump between 25,000 and 40,000 tons of CO2 into the air every year in the U.S. alone.

So what should companies and consumers do?

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