Climate change-related sea level rise has been blamed for some big environmental ills, including severe coastal flooding and unusually destructive hurricanes. Now comes a new, and big, worry: Rising seas could flood the underground cables that carry the internet, which could lead to widespread outages.
NBC News reports that seawater is likely to submerge more than 4,000 miles of internet cable in the U.S. and engulf more than a thousand data centers that are home to servers, routers and other hardware. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon presented these findings at an internet conference in Montreal. They identified New York, Miami and Seattle as the areas at greatest risk for flooded internet infrastructures.
“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,” the scientists said in their paper’s conclusion, according to NBC News.
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