Just last week, thewhich descended on England succeeded in setting in motion the cloud services of and . With temperatures exceeding 40°C and failures in some cooling systems, the two tech giants found themselves struggling to keep their servers at a suitable temperature, and had to take several of their devices out of service to limit damage and the risk of prolonged breakdowns.
Web servers, let’s remember, are to make these simpleunder , whose function is to host and give you access to your favorite sites. A service that requires and sends back a lot of just like your Mac when you follow a stream on while retouching your latest images in Photoshop.
A technical but also environmental challenge
The issue ofis a real technical but also environmental challenge, and faced with rising temperatures, the challenge is becoming more and more difficult. Besides Google and Oracle, many other Londoners, who also host armies of servers, found themselves overheated last week. For lack of a better solution, they had to resort to the most low-tech methods to solve their problem: send their employees to the with garden hoses to try to cool the buildings!
If the situation may seem funny or unusual at the time, it is better not to kid ourselves. For more than forty years, researchers have measured an extraordinary increase inwith a warming 3 to 4 times faster than in other regions of the world located at the same . The trend is not about to reverse. The coming summers are therefore likely to be synonymous with heat waves but also with increasingly frequent Internet outages. And of course, heat is just one of the consequences of climate change that could threaten the web with collapse.
Melted or drowned data centers
Take the example of the. Already in 2018, a study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that, in the space of 15 years, i.e. by 2032, more than 6,000 kilometers of cables currently buried will end up underwater in the United States alone. And if you’re thinking that whether they’re underground or underwater doesn’t make a big difference, know that ten days after the passage of Katrina, two-thirds of the routed networks in the state of Mississippi were still down.
In France, many cities like Marseille or Le Havre will therefore have to think about the future of theirbefore they find their feet in the water. On the other hand, the fires that devastate an ever-increasing portion of what remains of our forests each year also threaten human infrastructure, alongside hurricanes, or even of snow or periods of intense cold which continue to multiply throughout the world.
Contain escalation to prevent breakdowns
Faced with thisever more extreme, the skeleton of the Internet will therefore have to arm itself with , with data centers better adapted to climatic conditions, but also using redundancy to be able to cope with the breakdowns that will inevitably occur. More and more, companies are working to double their equipment, their connections, their power sources, or quite simply their data to guarantee continuous service and limit data loss. A solution that has its advantages but also inevitably means ever-increasing electricity consumption for server farms, which already monopolize more than 1% of its consumption worldwide.
As climate change continues to gain momentum, thealso continues to spread like a puddle of oil on the surface of the ocean. A vicious circle from which we can only escape by taking action to reduce our and completely rethinking the web of tomorrow.