As per the recent research conducted by the German central environment agency, it has been found that streaming an HD video emits different levels of carbon dioxide that depend on the technology used in transmission. The government agency also found that HD videos, when streamed over the fiber optics connection, the carbon emissions are least. The numerical value of the emitted carbon level was found to be two grams for an hour of HD video streaming. It means binge-watching your favourite Netflix episodes lead to global warming depending upon the amount of data you consume.
The same HD-quality video, when streamed for an hour over a copper cable, the carbon emissions were double. The study found the amount of CO2 produced was equal to four grams in an hour. Also, the highest carbon emissions are in 3G or UTMS data transmission technology. The amount of CO2 emissions are as high as 90 grams an hour. However, if the data transfer takes place over the 5G network, the release of carbon dioxide is significantly lower as compared to the 3G transmission. Data transfer for an hour over the 5G network produced five grams of carbon dioxide.
Fiber Optics May Reduce Global Warming
Svenja Schulze, the German Environment Minister, said that streaming data without harming the environment was possible if we do the things right. She focused more on the use of the ‘right’ data transmission methods that could minimize the carbon emissions. She also said that setting up of more public WiFi hotspots would be a better alternative to mobile networks.
The president of the German Environment Agency, Dirk Messner, also reminded the increase in data consumption in the future. He also suggested to work on more efficient and environment-friendly transmission channels. More countries should expand the fiber optic networks or 5G transmission technology and seem more promising.
Data Transmission in Other Resolutions
The study also says that the volume of data consumption is different for different resolutions of streaming. For example, the video streamed in an Ultra-HD resolution on a TV transfers ten times more data than an HD-quality video. So watching your favorite episodes in low resolution would significantly reduce the CO2 emissions. Luckily, you may not even notice the change in video quality on the devices with a smaller screen. Hence it gives you an option to watch your favorite shows in low resolution without even compromising with your watching experience. It’d indeed be a small contribution from your side in reducing the global warming by watching low-resolution episodes on Netflix.