According to a scientist, global internet infrastructure is expected to bear the telling effect of rising seas. Fiber optic cables buried in largely inhabited coastal regions of the U.S. across thousands of miles could soon be flooded, said the scientist. University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, Paul Barford explained that the research presents a key communications infrastructure which is anticipated to face damages as it is submerged by rising seas in as early as 15 years.
Barford continued saying that most of the damages about to take place in the next 100 years could be expected without much delay. Initially, it was thought that 50 years would be enough to plan for it, but Barford says we don’t have so many years at our disposal.
Small Rise in Ocean Levels Enough to Expose Buried Fiber Optic Cables to Sea Water
The research is said to be the first evaluation of climate change risk to the internet. It is predicted that over 1,100 traffic hubs would be surrounded by water and buried fiber optic conduit spread across more than 4,000 miles would be under water by the end of 2033. As per the report, the more vulnerable cities could be Seattle, Miami, and New York. According to Barford, the effects may potentially disrupt global communications and ripple across the internet while being confined to those cities.
The research combined National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) projections of sea level incursion and data from the Internet Atlas. Unlike marine cables, fiber optic cables are not waterproof, although they could be water-resistant.