Internet Outages Could Spread as Temperatures Rise. Here’s What Big Tech Is Doing
Updated: Aug 9
Data centers run our personal and professional lives, so it's crucial that they keep working in a future of climate change.
The Metaverse will offer no respite from climate change — not when soaring temperatures are causing Google and Oracle data centers to crash in the UK and Twitter briefly shut down its servers in the American West this summer for similar reasons. Climate is already forcing technology giants to rethink the geography of computing, CNET’s David Lumb reports:
“When selecting a site for their data centers, companies like Microsoft and Amazon prioritize access to low-cost energy, which they’ve historically found in places like Silicon Valley, northern Virginia and Dallas/Fort Worth, though Atlanta and Phoenix have been growing. They also look for internet infrastructure from telecoms AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, along with fiber providers like Charter and Comcast, to keep data flowing. They assess the risk of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, too.”
Drought has become another major factor, given the need for large quantities of local water for cooling. “One-fifth of the data centers in the country get their water from moderately to highly stressed regions supplying water in the dry western US, per an April report from Virginia Tech,” Lumb writes. “US cities are already getting nervous.”
As climate change becomes an increasingly important driver in the site selection process — even for the infrastructure powering the Metaverse — Climate Alpha offers tools for locating new geographies that balance resilience with proximity to customers. (Because every microsecond of latency counts.) Reach out to learn more about our Resilience Scores, risk-adjusted real estate valuations, and scenario forecasters and how they can help build the Internet of tomorrow.