"ROCHESTER, NY - According to a recent study, digital photography may be a significant contributor to climate change. The study, commissioned by Ilford and conducted at Rochester Institute of Technology, compared the heating effect of photons on a variety of light-sensitve materials including digital sensors, film, and plant products. Researchers found that digital media converted photon energy to heat at rates up to 50 times the rate of film and 500 times the rate of plants.
The study found that film reflected most light photons back out to space, and plants converted them into sugars. But photons hitting digital sensors were converted into heat energy which remained trapped inside the camera body, where it was then released into the earth's atmosphere. The exact dynamics of the heat transfer are still under study.
If confirmed, the study could have wide ranging implications for climate change. There are an estimated 300 million digital cameras currently in use worldwide. Scientists estimate their heating effect to be roughly equivalent to the carbon emissions of 20,000 cars annually. The number of digital cameras is expected to double within the next decade, while the number of potentially heat-generating exposures is expected to rise tenfold."
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