angry tapir writes "New research (PDF) from an Australian university argues that increased carbon emissions from powering data centers aren't the biggest environmental threat from the growth of cloud computing. Instead, the problem is the Wi-Fi and cellular networks increasingly used to access cloud services. By 2015, the energy used to run data centers will be a 'drop in the ocean' compared to the energy used to power wireless access to services. By 2015 the energy consumption associated with 'wireless cloud' will reach 43 terawatt-hours, compared to 9.2 terawatt-hours in 2012 (an increase in carbon footprint from 6 megatons of CO_2 in 2012, up to 30 megatons of CO_2 in 2015). Data centers will comprise only 9 per cent on this increased energy consumption, compared to up to 90 per cent for wireless access."
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