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"Server Farms as Polluting as Air Traffic"

"Server Farms as Polluting as Air Traffic"

Written by Anne Herrington & Charlie Moran
February 02, 2012

In this March 2008 article from Bloomberg Business Week, Manfred Dworschak documents the energy use of supercomputers, and then turns to the internet, finding that one Google search consumes enough energy to power an 11-watt fluorescent light bulb for as much as an hour. Google has sited its new server farm in Oregon, near cheap hydroelectric power from the Dalles dam on the Columbia River. Dworschak describes the “eight multistory cooling towers” at this site “designed to handle the waste heat from tens of thousands of computers.” He compares the present rise of data centers to the earlier industrial revolution, where no one considered the energy costs of iron and steel production.  

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