The internet infrastructure is vulnerable to climate change. The fiber optic cables that ferry data can handle some water damage, but they weren’t meant to be permanently underwater.
…within the next 15 years, in a scenario that projects about a foot of sea level rise by then, 4,067 miles of fiber conduit cables are likely to be permanently underwater. In New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, the rising seas could drown roughly 20 percent of all metro fiber conduit. These are the lines that physically ferry our Internet traffic from place to place.
Another 1,101 “nodes”—the buildings or places where cables rise out of the ground, which often house computer servers, routers, and network switches to move our data around—are also expected to be swamped.
Check It Out: We Need a New Internet That Can Withstand Climate Change