Rising sea levels are going to mess with the internet

Marshall Eubanks marshall.eubanks at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 13:44:31 UTC 2018

On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 9:01 PM, Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com> wrote:

> https://www.popsci.com/sea-level-rise-internet-infrastructure
> Rising sea levels are going to mess with the internet, sooner than you
> think
The sea level is certainly rising, but post-glacial rebound is also bending
the entire East Coast of the United States, which means that parts of the
East Coast are sinking into rising oceans.


Unfortunately, that includes the New York city area in the downwards zone.
Note that most of the intrinsic sea level change is due to the thermal
expansion of upper ocean layers, and that can vary regionally, and
this regional variation appears to be driving some of what we see.

The sea level in Southern Florida is persistently rising even though it's
not entirely clear why (if I had to bet, I'd bet on post-glacial rebound).


Florida sits on very water permeable rock and I would thus worry the most
about the Internet infrastructure in Southern Florida, but I suspect anyone
there already knows about this.


Marshall Eubanks

> [...]
> Despite its magnitude, this network is increasingly vulnerable to sea
> levels inching their way higher, according to research presented at an
> academic conference in Montreal this week. The findings estimate that
> within 15 years, thousands of miles of what should be land-bound cables in
> the United States will be submerged underwater.
> “Most of the climate change-related impacts are going to happen very
> soon,” says Paul Barford, a computer scientist at the University of
> Wisconsin and lead author of the paper.
> [...]

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