Rising sea levels are going to mess with the internet

Eric Kuhnke eric.kuhnke at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 17:13:14 UTC 2018

I'm thankfully late to this thread and don't really agree with how
operational discussions can devolve into political debates...

But from a purely factual, operational consideration point of view at OSI
layer 1: There is a very real reason why some facilities are built the way
they are. Take a look at "NAP of the Americas", the Terremark-built
colo/datacenter/IX point in Miami. It's built to withstand a certain type
of hurricane. The first 12 feet of ground level can be flooded and it can
remain operational. Its engineering design is a very real consequence of
its location in Miami and its critical role related to submarine cable
traffic to/from the Caribbean, Latin America and Miami.

These Miami-specific design considerations are valid for discussion, the
same as earthquake related issues are for critical telecom infrastructure
in Seattle, Vancouver or San Francisco.

I would be very surprised if the people responsible for budgets and
planning of modern cable landing stations were not taking into account
extreme weather events, possible sea level rise, and other factors.

On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 6:01 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
> [...]
> 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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