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Metaverse to help tackle global warming: Study

Metaverse offers air quality improvements through remote work, distance learning, and virtual tourism while redirecting energy towards the residential sector by reducing transportation and commercial energy usage, according to a study.

Edited By: India TV Tech Desk New York Published on: June 18, 2023 11:17 IST
Metaverse, global warming, tech news
Image Source : FILE Metaverse to help tackle global warming: Study

A recent study suggests that the metaverse, a virtual 3D environment where the physical and digital worlds merge, has the potential to contribute to the reduction of global surface temperatures by up to 0.02 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, the study highlights the metaverse's ability to lower greenhouse gas emissions, decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and decrease total domestic energy consumption. These findings could aid policymakers in understanding how the growth of the metaverse industry can accelerate progress toward net-zero emissions goals and drive more flexible decarbonization strategies.

The study emphasizes the potential benefits of metaverse-based remote working, distance learning, and virtual tourism in improving air quality. By reducing transportation and commercial energy usage, the metaverse can also contribute to transforming energy distribution, with a greater energy supply directed towards the residential sector. Fengqi You, a professor in Energy Systems Engineering at Cornell University, explains that the study aims to understand the energy and climate impacts of this technology and uses rigorous systems analytics to analyze statistical significance, potential pathways, and available data.

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The research team employed AI-based modeling to analyze data from key sectors, including technology, energy, environment, and business, to predict the growth of metaverse usage and the impact of its most promising applications. These applications include remote work, virtual travel, distance learning, gaming, and non-fungible tokens. The researchers projected metaverse expansion until 2050, considering different adoption trajectories—slow, nominal, and fast—by drawing insights from previous technologies such as television, the Internet, and smartphones.

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While the study indicates significant potential, it also acknowledges that the metaverse has limitations. The predicted impact of lowering global surface temperatures by up to 0.02 degrees Celsius, while helpful, is only a small contribution due to the complex nature of the global economy and the multitude of sectors involved. However, if leveraged in a reasonable manner, the metaverse can play a role in addressing climate change.

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The study underscores the importance of considering the metaverse as part of a broader range of solutions for tackling global warming. While it has the potential to make a positive impact, it should be seen as a complementary tool alongside other strategies in the pursuit of a sustainable and low-carbon future.

Inputs from IANS



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