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#5 – The Maths

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I want to be able to understand some of the numbers which are used to describe global warming issues.

Firstly, as most of my “professional” pollution is from equipment which uses electricity, a statement on the amount of CO2 produced in the generation of electricity would be useful. The figures used by Defra, the UK Environment Agency, contained in this report quote a figure of 0.43kg of CO2 per KWH (kilowatt hours) of generated electricity. To explain what that means, I’ll use the example of a plasma TV, which a lot of us now have. I’ve picked a model similar to my own, the Pioneer PDP-427XD. This uses 291W in operation and 0.7W in standby. On an average 8 hour day of watching and 16 in standby, total power for the year would be 853KWH, of which 4KWH would have been on standby. This equates to 367Kg of CO2 and a running cost of £85.30 for the year (UK electricity is about 10p per KWH). Fortunately I would only have spent 40p keeping the TV on standby. This isn’t actually a lot, as we will see when I start discussing the electricity consumption of storage systems.

One final statistic for now; The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which produces reports on the state of climate change, in 1990 called for a 60-80% cut in global warming pollution. At the time they predicted a temperature rise for the earth of between 2-6 degrees F by 2100. By the time of their third report in 2001, that figure had been revised up 60% to 10.4 degrees F, and in their latest report a worst possible figure of 11.5 degrees F is quoted.

Clearly CO2 production needs to be reduced significantly and as quickly as possible.

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • nolan de souza

    I am interested in knowing about your discussions on electricity consumptions in storage systems. I will be looking out for that one. I bet they are going to be over the roof. And therefore companies like Adaptec Inc (where I work), has ongoing efforts to go green with its RAID controllers.

    Just a thought… any idea on how efficiently trees convert the 367KG of CO2 back to O2?

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