Program Tracks Web's CO2 Emissions

Raising consciousness of how the Internet impacts climate change
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2007 5:43 PM CST
A herd of elephants walk backdropped by Mt. Kilimanjaro in Amboseli game park in Kenya in this May 21, 2006 file photo. Global warming isn't just a matter of melting ice bergs and polar bears chasing...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – If you're reading this, you're contributing to climate change. That's the message of two PhD students who have created a widget to calculate how much carbon dioxide Web sites generate. Operators can download and install the free program on their sites and then buy an equivalent amount of carbon offsets, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The creators say the Internet causes the release of more than 100 billion pounds of Co2
 per year. The widget calculates how much electricity goes into powering the servers running a site as well as the computers of people accessing that site. The software, launched Oct. 24, is now on 251 sites.