From the department of ‘press releases we never quite bothered to finish reading’ comes this from Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology :
Console Games and Climate Change – Researchers Reveal Carbon Emissions of PlayStation®3 Game Distribution
It’s not always true that digital distribution of media will have lower carbon emissions than distribution by physical means, at least when file sizes are large.
That’s the conclusion of a study published in Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology that looked at the carbon footprint of games for consoles such as PlayStation®3. Researchers found that Blu-ray Discs delivered via retail stores caused lower greenhouse gas emissions than game files downloaded over broadband Internet. For their analysis, the investigators estimated total carbon equivalent emissions for an 8.8-gigabyte game because data for 2010 indicated that to be the average game size. The bulk of emissions resulted from game play, followed by production and distribution.
The Internet will become more efficient with time, but game files sizes are likely to continue to increase, making predictions about the relationship between online services and climate change a matter for further research.
Full Citation: Mayers, K., Koomey, J., Hall, R., Bauer, M., France, C. and Webb, A. (2014), The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution. Journal of Industrial Ecology. doi: 10.1111/jiec.12181
Report here: JIEC Games Distribution PDF
NCAR’s dirty little secret:
WUWT readers of course have heard about the Met Office and their giant new supercomputer called “deep black” that they use for climate simulation and short term forecasts.
Not to be outdone, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO has commissioned a new supercomputer project of their own: The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) shown in artist rendering below.
Measuring 108,000 square feet in total with 15,000-20,000 square feet of raised floor, it will be built for 8 megawatts of power, with 4-5 megawatts for computing and 3-4 for cooling.
(it runs on coal fired electricity from Wyoming, BTW)