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The Cost of Spam: CO2 Emissions

According to data from a recent study by Commtouch (Internet Threats Trend Report) published in April 2010 and referring to the first quarter of the year, every day we send about 221 billion email messages, of which 183 billion are classified as spam (85% of the total traffic globally).

According to data from a recent study by Commtouch (Internet Threats Trend Report) published in April 2010 and referring to the first quarter of the year, every day we send about 221 billion email messages, of which 183 billion are classified as spam (85% of the total traffic globally).

United States lead the ranking of the “spamming” countries with 38 billion emails per day followed by India (13.7 billion), Russia (9.8), Vietnam (9.7) and Korea (7.6).

How much does all this junk mail cost the environment in terms of CO2 emissions?

Studies have estimated that each email message generates about 0.3 grams of CO2. Multiplying this value by the number of spam messages sent daily worldwide what we get is that every day around 54.900 tons of C02 are released into the environment: a number that translates into around 21 million tons of CO2 every year.

Just a curiosity, for the sake of comparison: the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in April 2010 released into the air around 150,000 tons of CO2 every day.