By Talia Ogliore, Phys.org

The global system of submarine telecommunications cables that supports our connected world is deaf, dumb and blind to the external ocean environment – and represents a major missed opportunity for tsunami warning and global climate monitoring, according to UH scientists and a United Nations task force.

“For an additional 5-10 percent of the total cost of any new deployment, we could be saving lives from tsunamis and effectively monitoring global change,” said UH M?noa's Rhett Butler, Director of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology and chair of an international committee tasked to evaluate the cable opportunity.

Submarine telecommunication cables are the backbone of the Internet.  More than half a million miles of this remarkable fiber-optic cable already criss-cross the deep ocean, linking more than 2.7 billion users and supporting global business, finance, social media, entertainment and political expression.

Now researchers are making a scientific and societal case for “greening” any new cables proposed to be built in the future.

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