Silicon Valley threatened by sea level rise

Treehugger reports on the coming catastrophe, seems some of techs biggest names could get quite wet. "Companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Dell, LinkedIn, Intuit, Intel, Cisco, Citrix, Oracle and others all have headquarters situated in Silicon Valley and this hot spot for tech companies is also becoming a hot spot for sea level rise."(Thanks, Nadine!)


  1. New Orleans is evidence that humans are not going to let any pesky ocean intrude on their desire to sit on a patch of dirt, despite many valid reasons to abandon it. Dikes, levees, and pumps will ensure silicon valley stays dry.

    The Netherlands are another entertaining story documenting man’s determination to live somewhere he has no business being.

    1. Eh, I wouldn’t play the ‘hubris of man vs. nature’ angle quite so hard: people settle near potentially dangerous bodies of water because they make excellent trade routes and sometimes have tasty fish. In the case of the Netherlands, there was a certain additional incentive to borrow a bit of extra land from the ocean, because if you want real estate in continental Europe you generally pay in blood and iron.

      New Orleans, similarly, is in a perfectly sensible location for a port; but suffered for not having the same institutional competence as the Netherlands.

    2. Here in the Bay Area we prefer to just let things flood.  Seriously.  In San Jose, there are roads that I know will be flooded every single time we get any significant amount of rain. (And they are. Every time.)  I saw some pictures of flooding in various cities adjacent to the bay during the most recent “king” tide (the highest of high tides).  The tide wasn’t unusually high as there hadn’t been much of any rain, but there were still numerous locations – roads, parking lots, buildings – flooded.  This is something that happens twice a year –  there shouldn’t be any flooding of recently built structures at all.  There’s no excuse for it – this is literally flooding caused by high tides.
      There are plans to build a bunch of new housing and office space in places on the peninsula that have traditionally been wetlands and which are at sea level now.  It’s completely insane – it’s like no one cares, or everyone is willfully ignoring reality.

  2. This doesn’t seem like much of a problem for the tech companies; they can just move further south in the Santa Clara Valley, out of harm’s way.  The haves can always afford to move.  It’s the have-nots that are going to be screwed.

  3. “Facebook is going to have to deal with sea level rise,” Mruz said. “It’s going to be a huge threat, with sea level rise projections skyrocketing now. They will definitely have to do something with their levees to protect their property.” Facebook’s property currently contains an 8-foot levee to hold back the tides, but researchers say those won’t be enough since it’s predicted that seas will climb as much as 16 inches by midcentury and 65 inches by 2100.”

    This is the most astoundingly optimistic projection of facebook’s continued viability ever published.

    1. Even after the world is scourged with nuclear fire, the question will ring out across the wasteland: “Who runs BarterVille(tm)?”…

  4. Most Silicon Valley firms don’t own their buildings, they lease. Long before sea level rise becomes a threat, they will simply move inland; most of the Valley is at higher elevation. Tech firms originally built in the marshlands because it was the cheapest option.

  5.  Much of the S Bay (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Milpitas, and others) already has proto-dikes in the form of 100 ft (30 m) tall land fill (ie garbage dumps).

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