People looking to compare energy companies for progress in renewable projects may be disappointed that a Met Office supercomputer is a significant polluter.
The Met Office installed the £30 million supercomputer in Devon earlier this year to help the meteorological centre analyse weather conditions and climate change, but the machine also generates 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, while also using huge amounts of electricity.
Up to a billion individual pieces of information are processed by the computer every second and the Met Office says it is a vital piece of equipment, despite the environmental issues.
Barrry Grommett, a spokesman for the Met Office, said: "We would be throwing ourselves back into the dark ages of weather forecasting if we withdrew our reliance on supercomputing, it's as simple as that."
He added supercomputers save lives by predicting extreme weather and providing alerts that enable authorities to mobilise more quickly to affected areas.
In related news, plans to build a third runway at London's Heathrow airport have caused controversy on environmental grounds in recent months.
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