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International

The sea level rise will leave the world without the Internet

12:30, Wednesday, 18 July, 2018
The sea level rise will leave the world without the Internet

Rising sea levels in the near future could destroy the infrastructure that provides Internet connection between major cities – to such conclusion scientists from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA.

Recent studies have shown that by 2033, the water may flood 4 000 miles (nearly 6.5 thousand kilometers) of fiber optic cables. Experts warned that first can suffer new York, Miami and Seattle, and the failure will affect not only these specific cities, but will affect the entire global communications system.

“The results surprised us. We expected that something similar will happen in 50 years, but we don’t have that time,” said Professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin Paul Barford.

Conducting the study, the researchers relied on data from an online Atlas that shows the structure of networks worldwide, as well as projections of sea-level rise from the National oceanic and atmospheric administration.

The authors analyzed only the situation in the U.S., but, according to them, this problem will become acute for many countries. Fiber optic cables laid 20-25 years ago, when it was not yet clear what the implications of climate change. They are resistant to moisture, but are not 100% waterproof.

Given how close many of them are to sea level, they do not need a lot of time to dive under the water, experts warn.

According to scientists, by the year 2300 Global sea levels will rise by 1.2 meters, even if the country will strictly comply with the Paris climate agreement. Long-term changes are due to melting of ice from Greenland to Antarctica, causing the continents will change the coastline.

The rising water will threaten cities from Shanghai to London, lowlands in Florida and in Bangladesh as well as entire countries like the Maldives.

“To stop the process of flooding is almost impossible. We can win a little time, but in the long run nothing will change,” said Barford.

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