This is a bit of trivia thing, but interesting one never the less, ~70% of the electricity we use is either nuclear or renewable: https://www.helen.fi/en/company/energy/energy-production/origin-of-energy
With the donation we gave to Eden Reforestation Project this december A LOT of trees got planted. Each tree stores ~0.5 to 5tn of Co2 during it's lifetime approximation of 100 years - most of this is during it's early growth stages (https://granthaminstitute.com/2015/09/02/how-much-co2-can-trees-take-up/ , https://www.unm.edu/~jbrink/365/Documents/Calculating_tree_carbon.pdf , https://medcraveonline.com/FREIJ/FREIJ-02-00040.pdf , https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=49841.0). Each 1kWh of electricity produced using coal emits about 0.94kg of Co2 (https://carbonpositivelife.com/co2-per-kwh-of-electricity/, https://www.quora.com/How-much-CO2-is-produced-per-KWH-of-electricity ). Some quick back of the napkin maths shows that even on "worst case" the datacenter electricity use was offset for 9 years via that donation, and on best case 180 years.
It was a little bit hard to come with simple answers, there are a lot of variables - how many trees Eden Reforestation Project manages to plant per 100$ varies quite a lot, at best 1000 and at worst something like 130. What type of trees are being planted, and how the climate is around that location, ie. how fast they can grow is another variable. Further the specific type of coal power plant emissions vary heavily, that 0.96kg/kWh (960kg / MWh) might be bit high as well, as in Finland a heavy emphasis is put on the emission regulations.
Of course, this does not include the materials, people working etc. only the datacenter electricity consumption. If people are interested in this we can run the maths for this as well and make a full length blog post, for as much as we can find source material references.
There is more to climate than just Co2 as well - and a lot of scientists are certain that Co2 does not play a big role in reality, and even less human activity. The major greenhouse gas is actually water vapor, accounting for 96% of greenhouse gas effect or there abouts. Plants grow faster and in new places with increased Co2, and they need LESS water (Sahara used to be green when Co2 was high!) with higher Co2. They also release less water vapor into the atmosphere when there is more Co2 as they can more efficiently get the Co2 they need. Further, none of that accounts for solar activty etc. TL;DR; is that it is a very very complex subject, which needs more research, objective research, and less politics. Climate change is very very real, but that has been the case for our planet Earth always - and we've actually been enjoying for more than 10 000 years the most stable climate ever on geological record. Co2 atmosphere content has been 10x what it's been.
Here at Pulsed Media we've always been quite conscious about environment and recycling. A lot of the servers we use are 2nd hand (where it makes sense), giving it another life cycle instead of becoming ewaste - and we try to hang on it as long as we can. We recycle all the cardboard packaging materials as well. We work really hard on optimizing power usage despite enjoying very low cost rate of electricity compared to many other european countries, and cold climate most of the year for cooling efficiency. Some of the cooling capacity we use is also used to heat rest of the building instead of being dumped into the environment.
Monday, January 20, 2020