Virtual Reality, Real Environmental Impact: Metaverse Could Cool Earth’s Surface

Cornell University researchers conduct a groundbreaking study suggesting the environmental benefits the metaverse could bring against climate change. Let’s dive into it. 


  • A study by Cornell University suggests metaverse usage can reduce Earth’s surface temperature by up to 0.02°C by the end of the century.
  • Metaverse technology has the potential to cut business travel, reduce carbon emissions, and greenhouse gases.
  • By 2050, metaverse growth could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, emissions, and domestic energy usage, aiding net-zero goals. 
Still from metaverse climate change

The Metaverse Benefits of Climate Change

Researchers Suggest Metaverse Technology Could Bring Benefits to Climate Change

Significantly, a study carried out by research workers from Cornell University suggests that the metaverse could hold significant environmental benefits. According to the study, the use of metaverse technology could reduce the Earth’s surface temperature. Furthermore, it has the potential to reduce it by up to 0.02 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, the study sheds light on the impact the metaverse can have on various aspects of human life. This includes work, education, and entertainment.

The research team led by Professor Fengqi You and PhD student Ning Zhao, used powerful AI-based techniques to analyse data. Researchers collected data from technology, energy, and business industries. The team considered new metaverse applications including remote work and virtual travel alongside the increase in usage. Through this, its growth is estimated until 2050.

What are the Environmental Benefits of Metaverse Technologies?

The use of metaverse technology could reach 90% of the global population within the next three decades. One of the most significant environmental benefits identified by experts is the metaverse’s potential to reduce business travel. By having virtual meetings and remote learning tools, transport carbon emissions could be significantly reduced. Additionally, the study also shows that the metaverse has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another environmental advantage that the metaverse can offer. 

Moreover, the study shows the remarkable effects that the metaverse’s business growth could have by 2050. There is potential for decreasing of atmospheric carbon dioxide content by 4.0 parts per million, greenhouse gas emissions by 10 gigatons, and effective radiative forcing by 0.035 watts per square meter. Additionally, it could lead to an overall reduction in domestic energy usage by 92 EJ. This would surpass the total yearly energy usage of all end-use sectors in previous years.

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Are Metaverse Technologies the Future?

Moving Towards a Virtual Society 

These findings provide valuable information for decision-makers and reveal how the development of the metaverse industry can speed up progress toward achieving net-zero emissions objectives. Different solutions can be looked at by using distance learning, virtual travel, and remote work based on the metaverse. Additionally, the metaverse’s potential to reduce the need for transport and commercial energy usage can improve energy distribution, giving a higher supply of energy to the housing sector.

However, relying solely on the metaverse cannot solve all environmental problems. Professor You points out the need to use the technology properly and advises against relying solely on the metaverse, despite its significant potential contributions.

The study from Cornell University provides valuable insights into how the metaverse can effectively address environmental concerns. Major players like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft drive the growth of the metaverse. With this partners must consider the environmental impact of their decisions. By using the power of the metaverse sustainably, society can make significant strides in decreasing climate change while reaping the many advantages it offers.

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