July 31, 2006

Could Global Warming Kill the Internet?

The current summer heat wave has been blamed for taking out MySpace for 12 hours, and more anecdotally the internet does not seem to be weathering the weather to well. The few mailing lists I subscribe to are filling up with tales of server fires and emails failing or being delayed far more than usual. Tales that are mirrored pretty accurately in my own webhosting and email accounts.

The internet is a big network of servers, and servers are hot. They devour electricity, they run hot and they mainline air conditioning. When the global thermostat goes up, the servers start going down. It is all a bit of sci-fi now, but could it be that one of the big casualties of global warming might just end up being the internet?

update: Dreamhost (who I use) have posted a fascinating mea culpa about why they went down in the heat. The power demands of these hosting companies and datacenters is pretty insane...

Posted by Abe at July 31, 2006 11:04 PM


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