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Video streaming has an impact on climate

The real-time climate impact of the video stream: a new calculator that uses the latest scientific protocols to measure emissions

The environmental impact of the flow

What is the effect of the real climate of the video stream? Some studies have tried to answer this question, but it is not easy to find the right question. Show episode of dark and bone On the subscriber’s screen, the use of various technologies is constantly evolving: from centers that host specific data to the infrastructure of a local Internet connection to electricity that allows viewing of the program. So far, measuring these emissions has required different assumptions that have led to studies with inaccurate estimates that have created false myths.

The solution came from researchers at the University of Bristol, who took ten years to develop a tool that can calculate the ecological footprint of streaming or other daily uses of the internet, such as browsing the news. In contrast to the general estimates used in previous studies, the calculator uses the latest scientific protocols to measure emissions (such as life cycle analyses) and data received directly from broadcast-based entertainment and media companies.

The research is the subject of a new independent white paper published today by researchers at Carbon Trust who work in the field of sustainability. I mentioned the entire document Who is the It provides interesting information, but above all, the four conclusions are really basic:

  1. The average ecological footprint for one hour of video streaming in Europe is about 55 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (gCO2e). The value is similar to that used to cook four bags of popcorn in the microwave or three uses for an electric kettle in the UK, which is 200 bags of microwaved popcorn. Noticeable difference!
  2. Adjusting image resolution has little effect on carbon emissions. For example, switching from standard definition to 4K resolution increases emissions, bringing a value of just under 1g CO2e/h to a value just above 1g CO2e/h. because? The internet connection is ‘always on’, so the extra power required to transmit a higher resolution to the TV is marginal compared to that required to keep the internet running constantly. Previous studies have overestimated this increase to 500 grams of CO2-equivalent per hour.
  3. Despite the increase in broadcasting and Internet use in recent years, the energy consumption of these companies has actually decreased over time. This is due to the fact that data centers, internet and service providers are now able to absorb more demand without consuming more energy, and constantly upgrade their equipment to improve energy efficiency, as well as buy and use more renewable electricity. The white paper looks at past trends to draw the current picture.
  4. Consumer devices (TVs, laptops/PCs, smartphones, and tablets) make up more than half of the flow’s carbon emissions (more than 50%)Compared to other components such as data centers or internet service, the device you choose to stream and use renewable energy in the home can have a significant impact on emissions and consumption. Devices, including televisions, are becoming increasingly energy efficient.
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Netflix and other companies have used the calculator as part ofcompactIt is a collaborative project between entertainment and multimedia companies and researchers from the University of Bristol. Netflix recently analyzed its data with this calculation tool and found that hourly emissions of global flux are well below 100 gCO2e, which is far less than driving a vehicle on gas for 400 metres. * This figure includes the most carbon-intensive power grids in geographies such as the United States, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. This is a slightly higher value than that indicated by the Carbon Fund, which is nonetheless specific to Europe, where the electricity grid is less carbon intensive. *

Tool validation by Carbon Trust Research has brought us closer to an accurate and consistent assessment of the impact of streaming on the climate, whether it’s data centers, ISPs, device manufacturers, and streaming-based multimedia and entertainment companies. A better understanding of this footprint means the ability to focus more on reducing emissions at the industrial, national and global levels.

* These comparisons vary by country and by the carbon intensity of the national user network.
* These comparisons change by country.
* This evaluation has only recently begun to take into account the effect of electricity consumption during use. Other phases in the life cycle that researchers aim to investigate further are the manufacturing period and end-of-life of devices.