- Aug 23, 2006
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Carbon cost of Googling revealed
Think about THAT the next time you're looking up porn! I put forth that prez Obama's first official act should be to ban Google.Carbon cost of Googling revealed
By Greg Morsbach
Two search requests on the internet website Google produce as much carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle, according to a Harvard University academic.
US physicist Alex Wissner-Gross has conducted research into the environmental impact of "googling".
Environmental physicists are worried about the environmental impact of information technology.
A recent study estimated the global IT sector generated as much greenhouse gas as the world's airlines put together.
Mr Wissner-Gross's study found a typical Google search on a desktop computer produces about 7g (0.25oz) of carbon dioxide.
If you enter another request you obviously end up with double that amount, which is the roughly the equivalent of boiling an electric kettle for a cup of tea.
The Harvard academic argues that these carbon emissions stem from the electricity used by the computer terminal and by the power consumed by the large data centres operated by Google around the world.
Although the American search engine is renowned for returning fast results, Mr Wissner-Gross says it can only do so because it uses several data banks at the same time, producing more carbon dioxide than some of its competitors on the net.
Mr Wissner-Gross says for every second we stay connected to the internet, we produce 0.02g of carbon emissions.
This may not sound like a lot but each day an estimated 200 million internet searches are carried out.