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ICT Sector Accounts for 2 Percent of Global Carbon Emissions: Study

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Jan 07, 2013 04:00 AM EST
Carbon emissions
Scientists from the University of Southampton claim to have found a possible solution to the ever-increasing threat of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: store it in particular locations far beneath the ocean. Global carbon emissions are expected rise to a record high this year of 36 billion metric tons, according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project. (Photo : Reuters)

A new study reveals that the information, communication and technology (ICT) industry contributes to about 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, the same amount that the aviation industry produces.

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Researchers from the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) and Bell Labs have estimated that the ICT industry, which comprises Internet and cloud services, discharges more than 830 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.

Carbon dioxide is one of the primary greenhouse gases that is responsible for the increase in global temperatures. CO2 is naturally present in the Earth's atmosphere, but the emission levels of the gas have significantly increased due to human activities.

Researchers involved in the new study have projected that the emission of carbon by the ICT sector is likely to double by the year 2020.

They pointed out that existing models do not accurately assess the emission of carbon, and insisted on using better models that consider data traffic, energy use and CO2 production in the ICT industry to measure CO2 emissions accurately, reports Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), which is India's largest independent news service.

The study report appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

A recent study by Global Carbon Project published in the journal Nature Climate Change showed that the global carbon emissions rose by 3 percent in 2011. Data also revealed that the carbon emissions hit 35.6bn tons in 2012, a 2.6 percent rise since 2011.

Moreover, the study also suggests that it is not feasible to limit the increase in global temperatures below 3.6 degree Fahrenheit (2C), as agreed by world nations during a U.N. conference two years ago.

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