Physics World Weekly Podcast

Physics World Weekly Podcast

Frugal approach to computer modelling can reduce carbon emissions

March 21, 2024

As computing power continues to grow, theoretical physicists have been able to do larger and more complicated simulations. Running these models consumes a growing amount of energy, and for the time being, this results in more greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Indeed, doing an intensive supercomputer simulation can result in emissions that are on par with taking a long-haul flight.

In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, Alejandro Gaita and Gerliz Gutiérrez  of Spain’s University of Valencia tell Physics World’s Margaret Harris how the physics community can reduce its computing-related carbon emissions.

Gaita and Gutiérrez are theoretical materials physicists and they argue that scientists should take a frugal approach to computer modelling, which can achieve scientifically relevant results while minimizing energy consumption.