From severe coastal flooding to unusually destructive hurricanes, climate change-related sea level rise is being blamed for some big environmental ills. Now comes a new worry: Rising seas could flood the underground cables that carry the internet, potentially causing widespread outages. Seawater is likely to submerge more than 4,000 miles of internet cable in the U.S. and engulf more than a thousand data centers that house servers, routers and other hardware, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon said in a paper presented July 16 at an internet conference in Montreal. The researchers identified New York, Miami and Seattle as the metropolitan areas at greatest risk for flooded internet infrastructures. Three carriers were identified as especially vulnerable: CenturyLink of Monroe, Louisiana; Chicago-based Inteliquent; and AT&T, which is based in Dallas. “We believe that these results highlight a real and present threat to the management and operations of communications systems and that steps should be taken soon to develop plans to address this threat,” the scientists said in their paper’s conclusion.