Information might seem immaterial.
But within a few short centuries, the total amount of digital bits produced annually by humanity could exceed the number of atoms on our planet and, even more unexpectedly, account for half of its mass.
Those are the conclusions of a mind-bending new study looking Iphone Cases at the growth of data over time and its potentially catastrophic consequences.
We live in information-rich times. Cell phones everywhere and high social media use mean that almost every human being is generating astonishing quantities of computerized content every day.
IBM and other technology research companies have estimated that 90% of the world’s current digital data was produced in the last decade alone, prompting physicist Melvin Vopson of the University of Portsmouth in England to wonder where we might be headed in the future.
His analysis began with the fact that Earth currently contains roughly 10^21, or 100 billion billion, bits of computer information LG Cases.
“This is everything we collectively do,” Vopson told Live Science. “Any digital content produced and stored anywhere on the planet by anyone.”
Vopson then calculated how much more data might exist in the future. This isn’t simply a linear extrapolation, since the amount of new information is also growing with time.
Assuming a 20% annual growth rate in digital content, Vopson showed that 350 years from now, the number of data bits on Earth will be greater than all the atoms inside it, of which there are about 10^50 or a hundred trillion trillion trillion trillion. Even before this time, humanity would be using the equivalent of its current power consumption just to sustain all these zeros and ones.
“The question is: Where do we store this information? How do we power this?” Vopson said. “I call this the invisible crisis, as today it is truly an invisible problem.”