Buried US Internet infrastructure faces risk from rising seas

Seawater inundation projected for New York City by 2033 and its effect on internet infrastructure

When the three researchers laid the map of the internet's physical infrastructure on top of sea-level rise prediction maps, they saw a striking overlap: Huge sections of important infrastructure were in the places likely to be underwater within 15 years.

Rising seas threaten more than 4,000 miles of buried fiber optic cables in densely populated USA coastal regions, report researchers. While the buried fiber optic cables are created to be water-resistant, they are not waterproof, and that means potential trouble for coastal residents who like the internet (a.k.a. everyone but Luddites, infants, and my grandma).

Reports mir24.tv experts warned that first can suffer NY, Miami and Seattle, and the failure will affect not only these specific cities, but will affect the entire global communications system.

"So much of the infrastructure that's been deployed is right next to the coast, so it doesn't take much more than a few inches or a foot of sea level rise for it to be underwater", said Paul Barford, study co-author and University of Wisconsin-Madison computer scientist. We believe that these results highlight a real and present threat to the management and operations of communications systems and that steps should be taken soon to develop plans to address this threat. We don't have 50 years'.

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Given how close many of them are to sea level, they do not need a lot of time to dive under the water, experts warn.

The report - 'Lights Out: Climate Change Risk to Internet Infrastructure' - is focused on the US but its conclusions have relevance to similar connectivity in the UK.

Seawater inundation projected for Miami by 2033 and its effect on internet infrastructure. In addition to cables, rising seas could damage data centers, traffic exchanges and termination points, all components vital to the information highway as it is now constructed.

Ramakrishnan Durairajan, an assistant professor at OR, presented the findings to peers at a recent talk in Montreal.

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The study is the first assessment of risk of climate change to the internet. Tell them their internet is at risk. In a study published Monday, scientists examined the vulnerability of communication infrastructure to human-driven sea level rise. The effects of building seawalls, according to the study, are hard to predict.

"When it was constructed 20-25 years prior, no thinking was given to environmental change", Barford said. This study should be seen as a "wake-up call". They quickly discovered it won't be long until that critical internet infrastructure is totally submerged.

"We live in a world designed for an environment that no longer exists", says Rich Sorkin, the co-founder of Jupiter Intelligence, a company that models climate-induced risk. Since sea levels are rising gradually, it's unlikely that a blackout would occur here on a similar scale-but it's good to keep in mind while planning for the future. "We can probably buy a little time, but in the long run it's just not going to be effective", he said.

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