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Telecom Cables Wanted For Climate Research

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the mind-if-we-borrow-this? dept.

Networking 48

schliz writes "Oceanographers have called for telecommunications companies to use their active and retired submarine fibre to collect climate data. Sydney University's John You says voltmeters could simply be attached to cable landing stations to measure ocean currents via the electromagnetic current that they generate. More information about salinity and seismology could be collected by attaching sensors to repeater boxes that are typically installed every 100km of cable to amplify signals. Because fibre optic cables could remain under the sea for decades, they could be a consistent, continual source of data for researchers."

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Current generated in fibre????? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236120)

"Voltmeters would cost up to $3,000 to set up, he said, and because fibre optic cables could remain under the sea for decades, they could be a consistent, continual source of data for researchers."

Somebody's unclear on the concept, and I don't think it's me.

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236132)

What about the metal sheath? They don't string naked fibres across the seabed.

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (3, Informative)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236174)

The plan is to measure voltage generated by water moving around the cables, not current traveling through them.

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33238234)

exactly... the voltmeters would only be sending data over/through the fibre channels.

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236134)

You do realize that undersea fiber optic cables are bundled with high voltage power lines to power all those repeaters, right?

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33238116)

I think I saw this posted in a commnet on /., but for those who missed it you can read all about undersea cable [wired.com] as a travelogue kind of story and it's actually pretty interesting.

Posting anonymously because I don't need to karma-whore.

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236148)

"Voltmeters would cost up to $3,000 to set up, he said, and because fibre optic cables could remain under the sea for decades, they could be a consistent, continual source of data for researchers."

Somebody's unclear on the concept, and I don't think it's me.

No, no, I think it is you. You don't know how an undersea fiber *CABLE* is constructed.

Re:Current generated in fibre????? (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236238)

Somebody is also very unclear in their explanation, and I think that's you...

What, exactly, do you think is wrong with the concept, again?

Bad idea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236124)

What if we found out something we really don't want to know?

Re:Bad idea (4, Insightful)

segin (883667) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236198)

It's a hell of a lot better than not knowing.

Re:Bad idea (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236292)

It's a hell of a lot better than not knowing.

Do you have any idea how much Australia earns from coal exports? Why should the Australian taxpayer fund research aimed at providing data to undermine that industry and ruin our economy?

Someone has to place some limits on scientists, otherwise they'll just go around playing God.

Re:Bad idea (4, Informative)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236648)

It's a hell of a lot better than not knowing.

Do you have any idea how much Australia earns from coal exports? Why should the Australian taxpayer fund research aimed at providing data to undermine that industry and ruin our economy?

Someone has to place some limits on scientists, otherwise they'll just go around playing God.

About AUD 55 billion a year, or about 5% of our GDP. That's 250 million tonnes of carbon, which turns into almost a billion tonnes of CO2 once burned.

So yeah, a truly scary amount of coal, but if people start taking global warming seriously, then there are alternatives. We could start exporting Uranium instead, we do have huge reserves. In the same time period, we only exported about AUD 1 billion of Uranium.

Losing 5% of the GDP would certainly be less than ideal, but it wouldn't destroy the Australian economy, especially if it happened over a few decades.

Re:Bad idea (1)

node_chomsky (1830014) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237404)

How is measuring something "playing God"?

Re:Bad idea (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33244194)

How is measuring something "playing God"?

God is all-knowing, so any attempt at knowing anything is an attempt to step on divine prerogative, obviously. And why were Adam and Eve thrown out of Paradise? That's right! Eating the fruit of the Tree of KNOWLEDGE.

God doesn't want us to know. Anything. It's right there in the Bible. Read it. Live it. Die miserably of a preventable disase by it!

Re:Bad idea (4, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236460)

Yep when Godzilla wakes up we need to know if he's moving towards Tokyo or New York.

Re:Bad idea (2, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236234)

...said the ostritch as it burrowed its head into the sand...

Re:Bad idea (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236688)

1. Ostriches don't burrow their head into sand.
2. Ostriches can't speak.

Sorry if you really didn't wanted to know that.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237544)

I doubt my buddy's really hungry enough to eat a horse, or that my dead uncle is able to kick a bucket or buy a farm as well. Not everything needs to be taken literally.

Re:Bad idea (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#33252444)

Yeah yeah... I know that ostriches don't really bury their heads in the sand, and that lemmings don't really commit suicide by jumping over a cliff.

Way to miss the content and beat the crap out of the form.

Re:Bad idea (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236582)

What if we found out something we really don't want to know?

- That's weird ...
- This volt-meter needle makes a fapfapfap-motion.

*investigation starts*

Turns out it was god sitting at the bottom of the ocean masturbating in front of a huge pile of drown kittens.

Re:Bad idea (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236598)

... including ceiling cat! Turns out God doesn't like to be watched doing the dirty either.

Curiosity killed the cat!

Re:Bad idea (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237202)

Then we get 'auditors' telling us it doesn't really exist. In other words, business as usual.

Mart

Re:Bad idea (1)

node_chomsky (1830014) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237336)

What if we found out something we really don't want to know?

There is no such thing.

this type of research is getting better and better (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236126)

What I find most interesting about research in this area is that it lets every member of an organization (say, slashdot for instance) licka my, sucka my, stroka my cock.

Voltmeter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236136)

Sydney University's John You says voltmeters could simply be attached to cable landing stations to measure ocean currents via the electromagnetic current that they generate.

With a shunt perhaps. Another fancy way of saying that is an ammeter.

"John You"? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236236)

In before "Who's on first?" joke!

Huh? (4, Interesting)

Gazoogleheimer (1466831) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236266)

The summary differs with a significance from the article to a somewhat unusual degree... No, it's not really workable with how the systems are currently set up. Yes, there is a possibility for infrastructure (at significant cost) to be colocated on these lines for data-gathering purposes.

Re:Huh? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237936)

The summary differs with a significance from the article to a somewhat unusual degree

This your first day here?

Re:Huh? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33238472)

Makes me wonder if the US military doesn't do that already. An extension of the SOSUS system.

just an excuse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236334)

to get the fastest connection to porn.

Sea plow? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236350)

They do know they plow the cables into the sea bed floor. Something like 2m down. How is buried in the dirt/mud/sand going to read ocean currents, temp, salinity etc?

Re:Sea plow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33236500)

it HAS to work!

Re:Sea plow? (3, Informative)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236534)

They do know they plow the cables into the sea bed floor. Something like 2m down.

Only where practicable / desirable - usually on the continental shelves & near the coast, where there's a danger of it being snagged by a fishing trawler or anchor.

AFAIK, the record depth for burying cable is still ~1600m [southerncrosscables.com] . By comparison, the average depth of the Atlantic is apparently 3339m [wikipedia.org] , and the Pacific ~4100m [wikipedia.org]

I'm an Australian (0, Offtopic)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#33236434)

Apparently climate change is caused by foreigners and migrants. Dick Smith can see them from his helicopter and he told us. So we're just gunna close our borders and leave you guys to take care it ok? Oh, we'll set up a "citizens' assembly" where we'll talk about climate change like we believe it's a real problem, but ultimately we know it's your problem, not ours.

Re:I'm an Australian (2, Informative)

geoff_smith82 (245786) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237524)

Dick Smith doesn't say climate change is caused by foreigners and migrants... he is talking about infinite growth in Australia (and the World)... is not possible with finite resources. As in productive farm land, water, energy, materials mined out of the ground like copper and steal (iron ore). Some efficiencies can make better use of resources.... but they will always be finite and at best reusable.

Re:I'm an Australian (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33238186)

he is talking about infinite growth in Australia (and the World)... is not possible with finite resources.

I'm all for the anti-growth stuff, but why do I get the feeling (from the bit I've read about Mr Smith) that he wouldn't mind so much if Australia could grow by 15 million young white people to support the aging population?

I'm well acquainted with the "build a wall" crowd here in the US, where their main concern is that dark people with accents and garlic on their breath are coming here and threatening to impregnate our lilywhite daughters. It was so in 1860, it was so in 1920, and it's so in 2010.

I have a feeling he's starting from the anti-immigration thing and hanging all the anti-growth stuff around it to hide the pessimism and ugliness it belies.

Full-Circle, or at Least a Bit Ironic (1)

node_chomsky (1830014) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237382)

It's interesting, because the property of photo-resistive substances/elements was discovered when the selenium-based components of an early voltimeter was being used to while the first (or least one-of the first) trans-Atlantic Telecom cables was being laid. The gear would give different readings whenever the door of the equipment room.*

*to not be guilty of outright plagiarism, I got this from Tim Hunkin the highly-understated host of the secret life of machines.

Re:Full-Circle, or at Least a Bit Ironic (1)

node_chomsky (1830014) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237440)

used to while

Sorry I am having preposition-malfunction.

My read is more interesting (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237460)

I first read it as "...Sydney University's John You says volunteers could simply be attached to cable landing stations to measure ocean currents via the electromagnetic current that they generate..."

Mine's more interesting.

What? Collect Data to Fight FUD? (1)

lloy0076 (624338) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237622)

Those cables are for sending that pr0n to me, high speed from the USA, land of the free - not for proving anything scientific; besides I can lookup 'climate change' on Google or Bing or even Slashdot and hey presto - all the pros and cons are already there including lots of data (which paradoxically I could download but that would use more electricity which would probably come from a coal fired or gas fired electricity station nearby)?

Who do these scientists think they are, telling me that their scientific experiments and data collecting might tell the truth with careful analysis; I believe what I read on the Internet!

Basic Physics Fact-Checking (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 4 years ago | (#33237730)

Accoring to TFS, fibre optic cables can lie around for years collecting data, which is measured by voltmeters sensing magnetically-induced currents.

Since when can you induce measurable currents in glass and plastic this way?

I would find TFS far more believable if this was being done to copper wires.

Re:Basic Physics Fact-Checking (2, Informative)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240142)

you ever run Long Reach cable?

the optics are broken at intervals, and repeaters are installed to carry the signal over the remaining distance.

the repeaters require power, so a few high voltage copper lines are run with the fiber.

the fiber would provide a wonderful data path, while the redundant power lines would provide both working current as well as the required loop for detection.

Manbearpig would like you to shake his cable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33237930)

Kind of like that Portland "masseuse" did before he blasted his man-chowder all over her leg.

Who is the new leader in China? (1)

aylons (924093) | more than 4 years ago | (#33238058)

"You was part of an international group of oceanographers..."

My first reaction was to twitch, then I realized what was going on.

Fiber Generate Electricity? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33239176)

Come on now... When's the last time "You" connected a Simpson meter to a fucking fiber cable?
Why don't you lay "real fucking sensors" (tm) , instead of tying up cables for something other than intended?

If there is Man Made Climate Change - it's classified (HAARP+Aerial Spraying), and therefore a scam, for a NWO framework, and spanking new global monetary system
If the Climate is Changing on it's own because of the SUN - Then Carbon Tax is a scam to fund the NWO framework, and a spanking new global monetary system

No doubt the Climate is changing, the question is do you want a New World Order, or to simply build better Locks, Levies, Dams, and move people away from the Coast naturally, like has happened since time began.

Cable guy.... (1)

spazekaat (991287) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241066)

Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? ZZZZZZAAAAAPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!! (puff of smoke) shrivel.....

as seen at Porthcurno (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33244650)

This museum [porthcurno...eum.org.uk] has a fascinating collection of things to do with undersea communication, focusing on the early telegraph lines. A number of cables come ashore at the museum site, and they've hooked some of them [*] up to an amplifier and loudspeaker. The currents induced in the cable form sounds that vary from noise to eerie wailings.

* copper cables that are no longer in use

other uses (1)

duhjim (733407) | more than 4 years ago | (#33249228)

If these voltmeters had been up and running in the gulf before the spill, could they have somehow informed us about the size or the spread of the spill?
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