when it comes to climate change, most people think of petrochemical industry and steel smelting. A new study released in Canada recently may overturn your cognition. Is it true that researchers say mobile phones can accelerate global warming?
According to Luther & middot; Belcher, a researcher at McMaster University in the country, information and communication technology products such as smartphones are among the drivers of global warming. Does the use of mobile phones really lead to global warming? Science and Technology Daily reporter interviewed relevant experts with questions.
The meaning of the research report has been misinterpreted
'the report is not accurate. It misrepresents the meaning of the report. "Recently, he liangnian, a professor from the school of chemistry of Nankai University, told Science and Technology Daily that he downloaded the original research report of his Canadian counterpart as early as the report came out.
"This study is not dedicated to smart phones. The report tracks and evaluates the carbon footprint and trend of global information and communication technology by 2040, and smart phones are only a part of it. "He liangnian said that the report showed that among the carbon emission components in the field of global information and communication technology, smart phones accounted for 4% in 2010, or 11% in 2020; the carbon emission of data centers is expected to increase from 33% to 45%.
In his opinion, the news is a bit 'exaggerated'. He liangnian said that climate change is a complex issue, and whether it has a direct relationship with carbon emissions remains to be further verified, which is difficult to explain in an application research report.
Using mobile phones will increase carbon emissions
Although he does not fully agree with the researcher's view that "smart phones are the driving force of global warming", he liangnian believes that the use of smart phones will increase carbon emissions objectively.
"Like icebergs floating on the sea, only a small part can be seen, and most of them are hidden underwater. So is the carbon emissions of smartphones. "He liangnian said that whether the use of smart phones will increase carbon emissions should be calculated based on its' full life cycle ', that is, from the production, use to scrapping and dismantling of mobile phones.
'on the surface, just calling or playing online games does not increase carbon emissions, but if all the necessary conditions to complete these two behaviors are taken into account, the carbon emissions actually increase. "He liangnian, for example, said that normal voice calls need to be realized through base station connection and data center data exchange. In this process, the call itself does not generate carbon emissions, but the base stations and data centers that support the call need to consume a lot of power and other energy, which increases the energy consumption of the infrastructure to realize the call.
As early as five years ago, the daily mail of the UK reported a study on the use of smart phones. Scientists found that 3G data traffic on mobile phones or tablet computers consumes the most energy to watch live broadcast. Its carbon emissions are eight times that of WiFi, equivalent to the energy consumed by a car driving 10 miles.
Carbon emission of used mobile phones needs attention
"The carbon emissions caused by the use of smart phones can be alleviated by clean energy such as wind and solar energy in the future. "Compared with the use link, he liangnian believes that the carbon emissions of mobile phones in the production and scrap process need more attention.
'scrapped mobile phones are big carbon emitters. "He liangnian said," nowadays, the service life of mobile phones is getting shorter and shorter, only two or three years on average. Mobile phone replacement frequency is higher and higher, but the obsolete old mobile phone lacks professional recycling treatment. This will not only cause environmental pollution such as heavy metals, but also produce a large amount of carbon dioxide in the degradation process of mobile phone plastic shell and plastic products. '
He liangnian's worry is not unreasonable. According to the data of the Ministry of industry and information technology, China has accumulated about 1.83 billion used mobile phones since 2014. The Ministry of industry and information technology forecasts that the number of mobile phones to be eliminated in 2018 and 2019 will reach 461 million and 499 million respectively. After 5g commercial use, the annual number of used mobile phones will increase to 524 million.
At the same time, the domestic waste mobile phone recycling industry is in urgent need of specialized and large-scale leading enterprises. Scattered small enterprises are fighting each other, not only increasing costs and energy consumption, but also indirectly increasing carbon emissions.