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Rising seas jeopardise internet connectivity

August 03, 2018 / SciTech Europa

Climate change-related sea level increases have contributed to coastal flooding and destructive hurricanes but are now posing a threat to internet connectivity through the underground cables which house internet capabilities. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon, USA, have revealed that seawater is likely to submerge over 4,000 miles of internet cable in the USA, whilst engulfing more than 1,000 data centres, housing servers, routers and other hardware. The research identified that New York, Miami and Seattle as being the metropolitan cities at the greatest risk of flooded internet infrastructure. In a paper summarising their findings, the scientists said: ‘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.’