It’s starting to warm up and summer is still a long way off, but as they say, climate change is a reality. Controlling pollution and carbon emissions is something Microsoft takes very seriously, as it has been rolling out “green” updates to Xbox for a few months now. In fact, the last one it released allowed programming downloads to be done overnight. Microsoft seeks to reduce pollution and achieve a state of carbon negative by 2030 and the seaweed could be the new way to get it.

Whenever new hardware is released on the PC, we are amazed to see how much more consumption of it is than before. People talk about energy efficiency, but many users only look at maximum consumption. It is here that one RTX 4090 and its 400W pull us back and in the case of consoles we are already talking about something more contained 200-250W for the complete system. Both the PS5 like Xbox Series X are around that number and they also have a standby mode where you spend next to nothing. At least in the case of PS5, because on Xbox this sleep mode raised alarm bells at Microsoft a few months ago.

Microsoft wants to achieve carbon negative status by 2030

Microsoft has been releasing updates to the Xbox for some time now to reduce consumption and reduce pollution. This is just part of the company’s plan, which has a rather difficult goal to achieve: reaching carbon negative status by 2030. remove more carbon than is emitted. There are still 7 years left to reach the indicated date, but Microsoft has already announced in 2021 how proud it was to have removed more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

Roughly speaking, each year Microsoft builds between 50 and 100 data centers per year to support cloud technologies and services. These require an enormous amount of energy to function and in the end are a problem for the carbon footprint and the objective that the company wants to achieve.

Will use algae to prevent carbon from reaching the atmosphere

Microsoft considers the scope 3 emissions They are the most difficult to remove. And that’s it, these correspond to all those emissions produced indirectly. To help control them, Microsoft contacted Running Tide, a company specializing in the carbon cycle, which decided to use algae to fulfill the objective. The basis is to overcome fast carbon cycle to slow carbon cycle. That would mean being able to trap carbon in the slow cycle that takes millions of years to complete, preventing it from circulating in the atmosphere.

For this, the procedure is based on the implementation of some buoys with seaweed composed of limestone and forest material hundreds of kilometers from the coast. As they decompose, the the algae inside it would start to grow and the CO2 would be eliminated the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Over time, it will have reached a point where the degradation will be high enough for the buoys sink to the bottom of the ocean.

If deep enough is reached, the carbon will be trapped by high water pressure, eaten by fish, or buried under sediment. Any one of these three options is viable when it comes to switching to the slow carbon cycle and thus preventing it from circulating in the atmosphere. According to the company, with this technique they will be able to retain trapped carbon for hundreds of years.