The only kind of real connection humans seem interested in making nowadays is with the internet. And considering over four billion of us spend most of our time online, whether we’re binge-watching that irresistible new Netflix show or asking Google what to do when we no longer have clean underwear, we’re more dependent on the World Wide Web to get shit done than we ought to be. Out here, we’ve even moaned climate change coming for our coffee and our wine, but where will we whine once it comes for the internet too? It turns out that the potential upcoming apocalypse means that nothing and no one, not even the internet, is safe. In fact, the internet might be one of the first things that will crash and burn. Here are some reasons why:
Underwater cables affected by rising sea levels
Since our forefathers had a little more faith in us than they should’ve, 99 percent of the internet cables are submerged underwater. These cables are kinda weak and need constant maintenance stations and repeaters, that repair and regenerate the system. But because ice caps are rapidly melting, it’s causing a significant rise in sea-levels, making these cables much harder to actually get to.
A study published by researchers at the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at fiber optic cables in low-lying regions, and how they’d hold up as sea levels start to rise. Based on the prediction that ocean levels would rise by a foot in the next 15 years, they said at least 6,400 km of fiber optic cable in just the US would be permanently submerged, affecting network connections from New York to New Mexico. Which means your precious Instagram scrolling hours could very well have a deadline.