By 2040, computers and smartphones will become the most harmful devices for the environment, according to a recent study conducted by a couple of professors of the McMaster University, in Canada
The ICT is negatively impacting on gas emission even more than the scientists have initially believed
Lofti Belkhir, the leader of the study and a professor at W. Booth School of Engineering at the McMaster University, considers that, as soon as 2020, the mobile devices will turn into the most harmful gadgets for the environment, surpassing the harmful emissions of computers.
According to professor Belkhir, smartphones’ manufacturing process will become the most dangerous for the environment being the culprit of the 85% of the smartphones’ emissions.
Besides, the motherboards, the CPUs, and many other components are made of alloys and precious metals, such as in the case of computers’ components. Thus, there is a visible increase in the extractions of the needed materials, a process which involves a huge amount of energy which, in the most of the cases, doesn’t come from renewable sources and is not environmental-friendly.
Smartphones use is also dangerous for the environment, indirectly
Every piece of data sent from a mobile device, including phone calls, SMS, mobile data consumption, and so on, has to pass through “data centers” which are, in fact, the processing units of all the communications initiated via mobile devices.
“Telecommunications networks and data centers consume a lot of energy to serve you and most data centers continue to be powered by electricity generated by fossil fuels. It’s the energy consumption we don’t see,” explained professor Belkhir.
In a general environmental-friendly movement, Facebook and Google plan on moving the majority of their data centers on bio sources of energy. However, big mobile devices manufacturers show an environmental carelessness, at the moment.
“Today it sits at about 1.5 percent. If trends continue, ICT will account for as much as 14 percent of the total global footprint by 2040, or about half of the entire transportation sector worldwide,” concluded Belkhir.