Could climate change kill the internet?

Rising Seas Could Cause Problems For Internet Infrastructure

Rising seas could significantly affect the global internet infrastructure, say scientist who found that thousands of miles of buried fibre optic cables in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be flooded.

"Most of the damage that's going to be done in the next 100 years will be done sooner than later", said Barford, "That surprised us". She knew that sea levels have been rising steadily for the past hundred years as Earth's climate has warmed, and that's already affecting many coastal areas.

The dense network of cables that make up the Internet is likely to be inundated with salt water as sea levels rise, a new analysis suggests, putting thousands of miles of critical infrastructure along USA coastlines underwater in the next 15 years.

Rising sea levels in the near future could destroy the infrastructure that provides Internet connection between major cities - to such conclusion scientists from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA. Seattle is one of three cities at most risk of internet disruptions.

The US networks most at risk belong to AT&T, CenturyLink, and Inteliquent, with a particularly strong impact expected across New York, Miami, and Seattle metropolitan areas.

New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has warned that rising sea levels will soon threaten the land-based stations for undersea fibre optic cables, as well as data centres and other vital worldwide telecoms infrastructure situated in or around low lying coastal areas.

The Internet relies on a large physical network combining colossal data centers and thousands of kilometers of fiber optic cable buried underground.

Risk to the physical internet, says Barford, is coupled to the large population centers that exist on the coasts, which also tend to be the same places where the transoceanic marine cables that underpin global communication networks come ashore.

Combine that with the fact that the researchers only considered American infrastructure - and the same issue could be a threat in coastal or low-lying cities in countries across the world - and it's clear we're facing a major problem. We don't have 50 years'. That article also outlines a variety of climate change-related risks but does not mention sea level rise specifically.

For a more dystopian prediction, Barford points to the communications outages that followed Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Although the sea level rise projection used in the study is on the high end of what scientists predict, other climate scientists agree that that's the right approach to take.

"When it was constructed 20-25 years prior, no thinking was given to environmental change", Barford said.

Barford said: "The first instinct will be to harden the infrastructure".

Barford said building sea walls to keep out storm surge and rising seas may "buy some time", but in the long run, "it's just not going to be effective".

This new study "reinforces this idea that we need to be really cognizant of all these systems, because they're going to take a long time to upgrade", he says.

Related News:



Most liked

Chicago Hot Dog Fest returns, celebrating famous food’s 125th year
On Wednesday, customers at Love's Travel Stops can get a free hot dog or roller grill item by showing a barcode at the register. Dog Haus : Get a free hot dog Wednesday by downloading the Dog Haus Rewards App and then registering for the program.

Why is Rand Paul, of all people, Trump's biggest defender on Russia?
Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Trump had made the United States look like "a pushover" and said the president's remarks "saddened" him. Brennan, who served as Central Intelligence Agency director under Barack Obama , "to suggest that the remarks warranted Mr.

Gaza ceasefire holds after a day of Israeli air strikes
Last Friday an Israeli soldier was moderately injured when a Palestinian hurled a grenade towards soldiers. Netanyahu has also come under pressure from southern Israeli communities under rocket fire from Gaza.

US President lists Russia, EU, China as 'foes' ahead of Putin summit
Asked in a BBC interview Sunday what that was, May responded with an amused expression: "He told me I should sue the EU". Trump repeated his previous assertion that the European Union has "really taken advantage of us on trade".

Djokovic into Wimbledon semis like a man on a mission
After a marathon final set, a double fault on Federer in the 23rd game was ultimately what did in the No. 1 player. Early on he was bothered by the glare off the sun, adjusting his serve and then sporting a cap.

McCain: Trump's meeting with Putin 'should not move forward'
Earlier also he said that the Obama government was "too soft" on Russian Federation over its annexation of Crimea. For US President Donald Trump , a summit with Vladimir Putin risks a political backlash at home and overseas .

US President to meet Theresa May to discuss post-Brexit ties
Demonstrators will assemble outside the BBC building in Portland Place at 2pm on Friday and march to Trafalgar Square for a rally. Asked about his father's visit and US-UK relations, he said: "He has worked here for so many years, he knows so many people".

Kim hopes for 'improvement of relations' with USA in letter to Trump
President and for the improvement of relations between the two countries and the faithful implementation of the joint statement". The UNC told the USA defense ministry about North Korea's proposal and is waiting for Washington's answer, the source added.

Wall Street snaps four-day rally; latest trade threat weighs
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch called it "reckless", adding that the tariffs were "not a targeted approach". NAM urged the Trump administration to negotiate a trade treaty with China.

England boss Gareth Southgate keeping select guest-list for Croatia clash
A semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday is all that stands between England and their first final since lifting the World Cup in 1966.

Federer, Serena Williams sweep into Wimbledon quarterfinals
He edged Gael Monfils 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 5-7, 7-6 (4), to whom he held a 0-5 head-to-head record entering the match. Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 champion, will be favourite to see off Nishikori for a 14th time in 16 meetings.

Trump admin won't meet deadline to reunite separated families
Its database has some information about the children's parents but wasn't created to reunify families under the court's deadline. In a statement, an administration official said its priority was "to ensure the safety of the children in its custody".

Wimbledon 2018: The stats behind Roger Federer's second round win
The Czech seventh seed was a dominant, nearly unstoppable force on Centre Court as she dispatched Azarenka 6-3, 6-3 in 72 minutes. Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams moved to the third round after 6-1, 6-4 win against Viktoriya Tomova.

China rejects 'blackmail' on eve of United States tariff hike
One, if Chinese steel cannot find its way into the USA , it could be dumped on other markets, triggering protective tariffs . OK?" The US trade deficit in goods with China ballooned to a record $375.2-billion past year , further stoking Trump's ire.

Police Officer Rushed To Hospital Over Concerns Of Exposure To Nerve Agent
The initial police view was that drugs caused Sturgess and Rowley's severe illness. Our reporter Robert Murphy has been following events in Amesbury.