Every minute, data centres receive tens of millions of requests about the weather, and having an answer for that difficult question relies on tremendously complex operations that use vast amounts of information gathered from around the world.
But those operations – and many more like it, from uploading a picture to streaming a film on Netflix – are having a vast impact on that weather. The very technology we use to understand our world could at the same time be changing it in profound ways.
At 2 per cent of total emissions, the IT industry’s carbon footprint is roughly the same as the entire airline industry. The vast warehouses of data that are dotted around the world can use as much power as a large city.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies