Rapidly rising sea levels likely to happen over the next couple of decades may destroy an important part of the very Internet itself…
From “Lights Out: Climate Change Risk to Internet Infrasctructure, by Ramakrishnan Durairajan, Carol Barford, and Paul Barford:
Our study is based on sea level incursion projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Internet infrastructure deployment data from Internet Atlas. We align the data formats and assess risks in terms of the amount and type of infrastructure that will be under water in different time intervals over the next 100 years.
We find that 4,067 miles of fiber conduit will be under water and 1,101 nodes (e.g., points of presence and colocation centers) will be surrounded by water in the next 15 years. We further quantify the risks of sea level rise by defining a metric that considers the combination of geographic scope and Internet infrastructure density. We use this metric to examine different regions and find that the New York, Miami, and Seattle metropolitan areas are at highest risk. We also quantify the risks to individual service provider infrastructures and find that CenturyLink, Inteliquent, and AT&T are at highest risk. While it is difficult to project the impact of countermeasures such as sea walls, our results suggest the urgency of developing mitigation strategies and alternative infrastructure deployments.