How Can Software Improve the Climate Change Situation?

How Can Software Improve the Climate Change Situation?

Our daily lives would not be the same without software. Millions of lines of software are active on devices all around us, and trillions more are active in the world’s data centres. They are used by us every second of every day. But have you ever considered how it might affect climate change? The various activities associated with them generate and emit massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. 

The more closely you examine them, the more elements you find that directly or indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Software engineers can help combat climate change by keeping carbon emissions in mind and striving to reduce carbon emissions caused by their work. In this article, you will learn about the various concrete ways to reduce those emissions daily when developing and running it. 

Tips to Improve the Situation

Engineers, professionals, researchers, users, and the industry all together can make a great difference in the scenario if they are willing to take the necessary measures and follow the guidelines. It will definitely help both current and future generations. Only if everyone does their part can the climate crisis be overcome. The following are some of the ways to improve the climate change situation. Check out the following and learn more about them in this article.

  • Use More Renewable Energy
  • Don’t Run If It Isn’t Needed
  • Keep Track of the Resource Consumption
  • Check the Carbon Intensity Regularly

1. Use More Renewable Energy

By concentrating on so-called green software development, you can use renewable energy when developing it. Along with functionality, security, scalability, and accessibility, you should also consider energy efficiency and sustainability when creating green software. 

Making them run fully on renewable energy is not enough and will take a long time.

It is also important to decrease the amount of energy that applications consume and increase renewable energy usage to speed up this transition. You should also make it reusable, durable, and resource-efficient. It takes guidelines, best practices, models, and tools to measure and reduce the environmental impact of software, as well as a change of mindset for its developers and designers.

2. Don’t Run If It Isn’t Needed

It consumes a lot of energy when it is running. The majority of energy is still created by burning fossil fuels, which produce significant greenhouse gas emissions. So as a software engineer or developer, you can reduce its running time and refrain from running it if it is not used. It will save a huge amount of energy from being wasted. 

Finding renewable energy at a constant level or in greater quantities is not always possible. It is possible to consider the amount of renewable energy when deciding when to run the software (for example, if it runs periodically). Also, you can make sure to remove unnecessary deployments of it. Try to deploy them in a way that enables you to move them around within specific restrictions or conditions. Keep this in mind as you write software.

3. Keep Track of the Resource Consumption

Keeping track of the actual resource consumption of your software is worth doing. If your efforts to reduce it are successful, it will pay off in lower energy and hardware consumption. The impact may seem small initially, but its effects in the long term will turn into significant numbers. It is an essential step to take because, if not, you will not be able to know whether the energy consumption goes overboard. 

4. Check the Carbon Intensity Regularly

Not all software produces the same amount of carbon emissions. Carbon emissions can vary depending on how they are engineered. Those with a lower carbon intensity are likely to be far more successful in the future than those with a higher one. So as someone writing or selling them, it will greatly help to consider the carbon intensity. Choosing a public cloud region with a lower carbon intensity will also significantly reduce carbon emissions. 

  • Unfortunately, there is not yet a standard method or accepted practice for determining carbon intensity. 
  • Platform providers, such as cloud service providers or virtualization platforms, attempt to surface data about energy consumption and associated carbon emissions more transparently to the user so that you can see actual numbers and trends in those numbers over time.
  • For developers, this will serve as a crucial feedback loop so they can monitor how their software changes over time in terms of carbon emissions.

These methods you can use to improve climate change are not possible to get done quickly; it will take a long time. You should start as soon as possible. There is no getting around it. And everyone needs to begin helping with this effort. It is a must to completely decarbonize the software and engineering industries in order to combat climate change and build a sustainable future. The necessary steps should therefore be taken without fail, including using renewable energy, monitoring resource consumption, determining carbon intensity, and many others. 

Interesting Links:

How to Fight Climate Change as a Software Engineer

How Software Affects Climate Change, and What Software Engineers Can Do About It 

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