Wi-Fi Could Go Bye-Bye With Climate Change

photo wifi hotspot mountainsPhoto by Florian Boyd

If you don’t like being tethered to an office chair, then you’ve likely learned to appreciate wi-fi. Ah, the freedom. Work at the coffee shop. Or on the beach. With freedom, however, comes responsibility, right? Like taking responsibility for our carbon emissions, both personal, national and international.

If this sounds too preachy, and you’re tired of the climate change alarms, just consider one more: A warming planet egged on by human-related emissions of greenhouse gases could affect wi-fi signals.

So much for traveling and working from the road or a more relaxing place if this prediction comes to pass. The wi-fi trouble is being predicted by a British government study.

If you think polar bears and small island nationsare in danger under various climate change scenarios, consider this, from The Guardian:

«… higher temperatures can reduce the range of wireless communications, rainstorms can impact the reliability of the signal, and drier summers and wetter winters may cause greater subsidence, damaging masts and underground cables.»The threat posed by climate change to internet and telephone access is a rare example of when the developed world would be hit harder than developing countries, which are in general more at risk from increased floods, droughts and rising sea levels.»

Think about how convenient, and vital, it can be to have enough cell phone bars and/or a wireless signal. Not only can you update your Twitter and Facebook feeds with a great quip or pic, but you can call for help, or find out about an approaching tornado, like dozens that hit the Midwest over the weekend.

Here’s what a strong wi-fi signal looks like, by the way, as illustrated by a light-painting project.

Scientists have been warning of more extreme storms as a result of climate change, and the events of 2011 could be an example, or at least a harbinger of threats to come.

For more on this, you might want to check out a similar energy infrastructure report from the National Wildlife Federation, which recommends:

«We must begin designing, strategically locating, and making investments in energy systems — such as appropriately sited offshore wind and distributed photovoltaic solar — that are more resilient to severe weather and climate disruptions.»

All of this brings a whole new meaning to the term «hot spot

Via: San Francisco Chronicle

Fuente: planetgreen.discovery.com

Autor: Jeff Kart

Fecha: 24/05/11

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