When we say that we’re going to store something “in the cloud” it sounds like an ethereal place somewhere in the atmosphere. But the online cloud is generated by computer servers in data centers all over the world. Thousands of them. And AI is likely to ramp up demand.
These data centers don’t employ a lot of people, and each one can hoover up the resources of a small town. So what happens when our need for more, better, faster cyber capability collides with our need for land, water, and power?
Dr. Anne Pasek, Canada Research Chair in Media, Culture and the Environment, Trent University, Canada; Todd Murren, General Manager, Bluebird Network Data Centers; Kelly Gallaher, activist, A Better Mount Pleasant, WI; Mike Gitter, Water Utility Director, Racine, WI
The Cloud’s Heavy Toll on Natural Resources, Marketplace Tech
A New Front in the Water Wars: Your Internet Use, The Washington Post
It’s Not Easy Going Green, Reveal
Data Center Site Selection: Why Midwestern US Is So Attractive to Hyperscalers, Data Center Knowledge
The Risk of AI Power Grids, Radiolab
The Pros and Cons of Underground Data Centers, Data Center Knowledge