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World's Internet Infrastructure Is Drowning, As Earth's Sea Levels Continue To Rise

July 08, 2019 / Gwyn D'Mello

At its core, the Internet is basically just a network of other networks. And in order to achieve that, there need to be actual cables connecting computers across the globe. Unfortunately, as the global sea level continues to rise, these transcontinental, sub-sea communication cables are in jeopardy. A study from last year appears to be coming true, which predicted that the world's rising waters would end up inundating low-lying fiber optic cables and data stations within the next 15 years. Computer scientist Paul Barford, from the University of Wisconsin spent the last few years scraping the Internet with his student Ramakrishnan Durairajan for publicly available information of where US telcos have laid down their infrastructure. They combined that with information on rising sea levels provided by Carol Barford, a climate scientist at the University of Wisconsin.