The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Energy of a Google Search
Every action has a cause and effect. For everything we do in life, from movement, to breathing, we are generating energy. Each tap of my finger on the keyboard exerts a small amount of energy. Each and every action requires some energy. We eat food in order to sustain this energy, but eventually our bodies will burn the energy, and we grow tired and desire food in order to acquire more energy.
Imagine if every Google search query generated the same amount of energy. If you count the millions of search queries a day that are typed into the Google search engine, how much energy do you think that would be? If you do not think it would take any energy, there is a massive database of computers running to support the demands of Google searchers, so there is plenty of energy being used up with each stroke of the keyboard, and each entry into the Google search engine.
Google processes about 13 billion searches a month and in order to handle such large volumes of data, huge data centers with thousands of servers are necessary. These data centers require electricity to remain operational, not to mention the backup databases that Google has to ensure that no data is ever truly lost. If one server goes down or dies, there are a dozen others that have already stored all the information from that server. The Google Data Center is a massive brain that never forgets anything and is always hungry to acquire more and more data from humans.
According to Google Green, Google is creating a better web that’s better for the environment. We’re greening our company by using resources efficiently and supporting renewable power. That means when you use Google products, you’re being better to the environment.
This infographic gives you an idea of how much energy Googles uses with every search.
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Google Energy Used In Search
As the world’s largest search engine, Google process nearly 13 billion monthly searches. They are able to handle such large volumes of data because they have huge data centers with thousands of servers capable of handling immense capacities. Such large amount of computing power require a great deal of electricity. This electricity consumption translates directly into a carbon pollution. Take a look below:
One Google Search
- Could power a 100 watt lightbulb for 11 seconds
- Could power a bicycle for 14.4 seconds
- Generates as much CO2 as your car produces by driving three inches
- Generates as much CO2 as you breathe out in 2 seconds
- Consumes as much power as your heart uses in 9 minutes
- Uses one 3,000,000th of the energy used by the average home per month
- Creates enough CO2 to fill 1/30th of a 12ox soda can
All Monthly Google Searches
260,000 kg CO2
- Could power a 100 watt lightbulb for 4,534 Years
- Could power a bicycle for 5,936 years
- Generates about 626,502 miles worth of CO2 from driving
- Generates as much CO2 as you breathe out in 824 years
- Uses as much power as 2 Billion hours of human heart beats
- Could power 4,239 homes for one month
- Creates enough CO2 to fill 1/12 of Giants Stadium
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.