The Netherlands is a kind of empty bathtub, says Amy Slangen of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), with water rising higher and higher at the edges. Slangen is the lead author on the topic of sea level rise in the Monday morning United Nations climate report. “The closer the water gets to the edge, the greater the chance of flooding if it blows.”
The United Nations Climate Panel (IPCC) said Monday that sea-level rise due to global warming is irreversible. Slingen: “Sea level rise is caused by a warming climate. It is a kind of thermometer of climate change, because there are many important processes that come together in it. Warmer ocean waters expand and therefore sea level rises. It also melts land ice. Comes From the glaciers and the ice caps ending in the ocean, causing the sea level to rise even more. In addition, groundwater is pumped, for example, to consume and irrigate farmland, and this water also ends up in the ocean.”
The numbers in the IPCC report are not much different from the previous report in 2013, according to Slangen. However, the new report is more accurate. “For example, we can now determine the expected contribution from Antarctic melt for different greenhouse gas scenarios, while this was not possible in the previous report.” The extent of sea level rise varies regionally, according to the UNICEF National Institute. In northern Europe, the melting of Antarctica is especially important. Because of the effect of gravity, meltwater from Antarctica on our side of the world is causing an additional 10 percent of sea level rise on top of the average global sea level rise.
According to NIOZ, due to this sea level rise, we will see a lot of water rise in the Netherlands, that is, every two to ten years. Concretely, this means that Oosterscheldekering or Maeslantkering will have to close much more often than at present to prevent flooding from the sea. According to NIOZ, the IPCC report shows that the extent of sea level rise is strongly determined by the amount of greenhouse gases we emit from now on.
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