More head-spinning updates on the “Google searches are melting the planet” brouhaha: the research that reportedly found two Google searches produce as much carbon dioxide as heating up a pot of tea is being refuted not only by Google but by … the researcher himself.
The Guardian reports today that Harvard physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says his yet-to-be-published study did not focus on the impact of Google but on the carbon footprint of the Web in general. While acknowledging that Google, being a part of the Internet and all, does in fact have some environmental impact, Wissner-Gross says, the original Sunday Times article citing his research did not accurately represent his study.
He further noted that he has “no idea” where the tea-kettle analogy came from. It’s not his, Wissner-Gross says.
You can find further details of the whole Google-icious mixup at TechNewsWorld.
Moral of the story? It’s probably best not to cite unpublished studies without actually reading them first.