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3.2: The Hidden Costs of the Cloud

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    207226
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    Cloud computing relies on massive data centres and infrastructure that consume a significant amount of energy and produce waste. These data centres require constant cooling, lighting, and other support systems to ensure the optimal performance of servers and other hardware. The construction and operation of data centres also require huge amounts of energy, water, and other resources, leading to carbon emissions and other forms of environmental damage.

    One of the most significant environmental impacts of cloud computing is its contribution to climate change. The energy consumption of data centres is massive, and as more and more computing moves to the cloud, this demand will only increase. According to one estimate, the carbon footprint of the IT industry is 1.8% to 3.9% of global greenhouse-gas emissions.

    Many companies have pledged to make their data centres carbon-neutral or powered by renewable energy sources, but critics argue that these efforts are not enough. Offsetting carbon emissions or engaging in carbon trading does not address the underlying problem of energy consumption and waste production.


    3.2: The Hidden Costs of the Cloud is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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