Bulletins

Google and Oracle data centers are melting in the UK heat wave

Both Google and Oracle are experiencing cooling-related issues.

Google datacenter

Data centers are struggling to operate amid record high temperatures.

Image: Google

Google and Oracle data centers in the U.K. were struggling to operate Tuesday as record high temperatures continue to heat up Europe.


According to Google Cloud's service health page, one of its London buildings hosting cloud services for one of its Western Europe regions experienced a "cooling related failure" starting Tuesday morning. The company powered down services in part of that region to fix the issue.

Meanwhile, Oracle is having similar issues. Its service health page said it's working to repair the cooling system in its London data center and has powered down some of its services to "to prevent uncontrolled hardware failures." Oracle said it expects service to be restored today.

"As the operating temperatures approach workable levels, some services may start to see recovery," Oracle's service page said.

Though major data centers often have thousands of gallons of water at their disposal for cooling, they're not immune to heat waves. Prior to Tuesday's outages, an AWS data center in London went out July 10 in what the company called a "thermal event." Some data center operators are even resorting to hosing down their roof-mounted AC units with water to keep working.

Data centers are facing issues, but so, too, are everyday people. The heat wave currently roasting the EU and U.K. is being made worse by climate change, and the effects have been relentless. Hundreds died in Spain and Portugal over the weekend amid the intense heat that topped out at 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) and wildfires burning across the countryside. Nuclear power plants were also forced to operate at reduced capacity in France due to overheating river water normally used for cooling.

The epicenter of heat has since moved to the U.K. to start the week, where the nation saw its first-ever 40-degree-Celsius (104-degree-Fahrenheit) temperature reading and has seen fires rage near London. Just 5% of homes in the U.K. have air conditioning installed. There are a number of high- and low-tech solutions that could help beat the heat, a task that will only become more important as climate change increases the intensity and frequency of freakishly hot weather.

This post has been updated with additional context.

Latest Bulletins

Mobile game revenue will decline for the first time in history this year, market research firm Newzoo now says in a revised outlook for the 2022 global games market. While the whole game industry is expected to contract by 4.3% — another first since Newzoo began tracking the market in 2007 — the company is predicting a 6.4% decline in mobile game spending on top of a 4.2% decline in console game spending.

Keep ReadingShow less

Amazon is planning to lay off thousands of employees, Protocol has learned, ahead of what the company has cautioned will be a slow holiday shopping season.

Keep ReadingShow less

Google agreed to pay $391.5 million and make changes to its user privacy controls as part of a settlement with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general. The coalition accused Google of misleading customers about location-tracking practices that informed ad targeting.

Keep ReadingShow less

FTX has filed for bankruptcy and the crypto company also announced that founder Sam Bankman-Fried has resigned as CEO.

Keep ReadingShow less

Salesforce recently updated its internal policies to make it easier for managers to terminate employees for performance issues without HR involvement, Protocol has learned, a move that comes as the software giant looks to shed as many as 2,500 jobs.

Keep ReadingShow less

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said fraud and scam reports comprise the top complaint it receives about virtual currencies — and that customers are finding little help from companies when it happens.

Keep ReadingShow less

Elon Musk sent his first email to Twitter staff late Wednesday, warning of a difficult economic road ahead and telling employees they need to be in office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. "Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message," he began, ominously.

Keep ReadingShow less

Binance isn’t buying FTX after all. The crypto giant said Wednesday it has decided that it “will not pursue the potential acquisition” based on a “corporate due diligence” review.

Keep ReadingShow less

On Wednesday, John Kerry unveiled a plan for a new carbon credit program aimed at mobilizing private capital to help middle-income countries transition away from coal and move toward renewable energy.

Keep ReadingShow less

Meta announced it was laying off more than 11,000 employees Wednesday morning, slashing jobs in its recruiting department and refocusing its remaining team on AI discovery, ads, and its investment in the metaverse.

"I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a message to employees that was also posted online. "I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted."

Keep ReadingShow less

Al Gore has one mission this week at COP27, and that’s to give climate negotiators what he hopes will be a critical tool to address the crisis at hand: an independent, global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, down to the individual facility.

The Climate TRACE coalition just released the world’s most detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which Gore, a founding member, is unveiling on Wednesday at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

Keep ReadingShow less

Way back in March, your friendly Protocol Climate team offered you some tips for writing a climate plan that doesn’t suck. Surely you took that advice. But if for some reason you didn’t, the United Nations has your back.

Keep ReadingShow less

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said Tuesday the crypto powerhouse signed a deal to acquire rival FTX.

Keep ReadingShow less

Salesforce is preparing for a major round of layoffs that could affect as many as 2,500 workers across the software vendor, Protocol has learned, in a bid to cut costs amid a new activist investor challenge and harsh economic conditions.

Keep ReadingShow less

BlockFi has introduced a new digital assets interest product for accredited investors, after previously agreeing to shut down a yield-paying crypto product that the SEC said was illegal.

Keep ReadingShow less

The Justice Department said Monday it seized $3.4 billion worth of bitcoin stolen in the 2012 hack of the Silk Road dark web marketplace.

Keep ReadingShow less

U.S. election infrastructure is exceedingly secure, and voter fraud here is so rare it’s comparable to your annual chances of getting struck by lightning. Despite this, former President Donald Trump and a long list of allies in the Republican Party have spent the last two years questioning the overall integrity of the U.S. election system. Many of those allies are now candidates themselves, and their coordinated attack on the country’s status as a democracy is not a relic of 2020. Some have already started repeating these “Big Lie” charges ahead of next week’s midterms. And the social platforms that help them spread their message have prepared few measures to stop it.

Keep ReadingShow less

The White House just laid out its climate tech priorities to reach net zero by 2050.

Keep ReadingShow less

Coinbase said Thursday that it lost more users in the third quarter. But the decline wasn’t the disastrous drop that Wall Street was expecting, and that sparked a rally in the crypto company’s shares after-hours.

Keep ReadingShow less

The Biden administration announced $9 billion in funding Wednesday to improve home efficiency, which could help support the installation of up to 500,000 heat pumps. With winter approaching and utilities warning of gas shortages, there are some major challenges facing the technology that money can be used to tackle.

Keep ReadingShow less

Block beat earnings expectations, with strong growth largely fueled by its Cash App business. Traders sent shares up more than 12% after-hours Thursday.

Keep ReadingShow less

Stripe is laying off 14% of its staff, its co-founders said Thursday, as the fintech startup must start "building differently for leaner times."

Keep ReadingShow less

Roku saw its revenue growth slow in Q3, and warned investors Wednesday that things are about to get worse: “A lot of Q4 ad campaigns are being canceled,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood during the company’s Q4 earnings call. “We’re seeing lots of big categories pull back. Telecom, insurance … even toy marketers are planning on reducing their spending.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Green jobs and corporate climate pledges abound, but skilled sustainability professionals are scarce.

Keep ReadingShow less

Robinhood reported a drop in third-quarter revenue but also a narrower loss on Wednesday, in a sign that it might be stabilizing its business as it attempts to recover from a staggering drop in the stock and crypto trading activity that fueled its growth.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bulletins