A study has revealed that computers, phones, and other information and communication technology (ICT) may emit more greenhouse gases than the entire aviation industry, as Lancaster University researchers examined previous scientific studies that calculated total greenhouse gas emissions in the information technology industry. and communications.
ICT consists not only of smartphones and computers, but also televisions, mobile network equipment, and data centers. It also includes the latest fashionable digital technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
While the problem with many common devices is that they contain liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, every time these devices are manufactured, powerful fluorinated greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. Discarded electronic devices are also sometimes burned for disposal, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and toxic chemicals into the air.
Study researcher Dr. Kelly Weddicks from Lancaster University said the term "ICT" includes not only phones and computers, but also other aspects of ICT such as networks and data centers. Some of the earlier estimates of ICT greenhouse gas emissions may not take into account the entire life cycle, supply chain, and infrastructure of products.
Some of the steps during these cycles include the energy expended in manufacturing, the carbon cost associated with the components, the energy consumed when equipment is used, and finally the disposal of products when they are fulfilled.