What Is the Problem?
At it's core, the internet is a global network of computers. These specially made, commercial grade computers, are called servers.
Unlike our personal computers, servers are built to to handle a sustained amount of work. This additional work requires significantly more electricity
to maintain. In addition to the higher power draw for the server itself, one of the most efficient ways to house a server is with other servers, in the
same geographical location. This is known as a data center.
While data centers are more efficient for sending and recieving large amounts of data, housing all those servers under one roof comes at a cost: heat.
Just like a crowded room of people, there is a lot of heat generated by servers packed tightly into a small space. In order to protect the servers
from this heat, robust HVAC systems have to be installed and maintained at data centers. In fact, HVAC systems typically account for half of the energy
used by a data center!
Due to these high power demands, data centers currently account for 2% of the world's carbon emissions. That's as much as the entire airline industry!
As mentioned at the outset, our reliance on the internet continues to increase by the hour. That means more data centers, and more electricity used. At the
current rate of expansion, global data center pollution is expected to over take the entire United States within the next 20 years!