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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An International Energy Agency analysis finds that carbon emissions linked to streaming video aren't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but are nonetheless important to track as use grows.

Why it matters: Streaming video is one of the few entertainment options for those living under coronavirus lockdowns. Even before the crisis, services like Netflix and Hulu had ballooned in use.

Catch up quick: "[C]ontrary to a slew of recent misleading media coverage, the climate impacts of streaming video remain relatively modest, particularly compared to other activities and sectors," writes IEA analyst George Kamiya.

What they did: Kamiya unpacks a widely circulated study by the Shift Project, which claimed that streaming video created about 300 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018 — an amount Kamiya notes amounts to emissions from all of France.

  • The size of your carbon footprint created by watching a half hour of Netflix is equal to driving roughly 200 meters in a standard car, Kamiya found — and even that figure can drop, depending on if your region uses more low-carbon energy.
  • What's more, rising internet traffic has not increased data centers' energy consumption.

Yes, but: Although laptops, phones and TVs are becoming more efficient — as well as data centers and networks — it's increasingly likely that tech will be unable to offset growing data demands from 5G and machine learning.

The big picture: Americans almost doubled their streaming consumption from 2018 to 2019, and are poised to continue that pace as movies are released directly to streaming services to entertain those staying at home.

Go deeper: 10 ways coronavirus is changing energy and climate change

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

13 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.