Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Internet will be underwater sooner than you might think

Found this on the Weather Channel, where it discusses a study that discusses the impacts on rising oceans on... The Internet.
It makes sense. Population centers are, what, 80% within a few miles of oceans. All the phone and Inet cables would run along roads through population areas...
Business Insider discusses so called Sunny Day Flooding from high tied and kind tide.
As the sea levels rise there will be more flooding. Flooding will start to hit lots of underground cables (including Internet cables) that are water resistant, but not waterproof.

With all the analysis of Global Warming, most of the scenarios assume that we take some action to avoid the worst cases. Also, there had been expectations for 20-30 years that we would start to run out (or at least low) on the fossil fuels, and thereby increase costs from shortages would result in "conservation" efforts. But Fracking and horizontal drilling has changed all that. Ten years ago, noone, not even the oil baron Boone Pickens, could expect that the world would reach 100m barrels of oil per day. It was not conceivable. But we have made it. Happily burning away, even with generally more fuel-efficient vehicles.

But the Business as Usual (BAU) models that were considered the absolute worst case in climate models, seems to be where we find ourselves. The general thinking was that we probably had about another 50 years before big problems from global warming come home to roost. Well, this study figures otherwise. Within 10-15 years these problems, and the associated plethora of costs, should start showing up with a vengeance.

The water issues will be massive and devastating. Salt water intrusion will become really expensive. Imagine entire cities moving from lots of fresh water and fresh water wells, to no fresh water. Desalinization is obviously possible, but requires lots of energy, plus massive amounts of plant and infrastructure.

And, we have not even begun to talk about the devastating impacts of hurricanes when the sea levels are a couple more feet above "normal".

No pretty pictures on the waterfront here!

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