NL a kind of emptied bathtub, researcher says about rising sea levels
The Netherlands is a kind of emptied out bathtub, with water rising higher and higher at the edges, said Aimee Slangen of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Slangen is the lead author on the subject of rising sea levels in the UN climate report published Monday morning. "The closer the water gets to the edge, the greater the chance of flooding if it storms."
The rising sea level due to global warming is irreversible, the UN climate panel IPCC said on Monday. Slangen: "Sea level rise is caused by the warming of the climate. It is a kind of thermometer of climate change, because so many important processes come together in it. Warmer ocean water expands and therefore the sea level rises. Also melting land ice from glaciers and ice caps end up in the ocean, causing the sea level to rise even further. In addition, ground water is pumped up for, for example, consumption and irrigation of agricultural land, and this water also ends up in the ocean."
The figures from the IPCC report do not differ much from the previous report from 2013, according to Slangen. However, the new report is more precise. "For example, we can now make concrete what the expected contribution of the melting of Antarctica is for various greenhouse gas scenarios, while this was not yet possible in the previous report." The extent to which the sea level rises differs regionally, according to the NIOZ. In Northern Europe, the melting of Antarctica is particularly relevant. Due to an effect of gravity, the melt water from the South Pole on our side of the world causes an extra sea level rise of 10 percent on top of the global average sea level rise.
According to the NIOZ, due to this sea level rise, we will experience high water much more often in the Netherlands, namely every two to ten years. In concrete terms, this means that the Oosterscheldekering or the Maeslantkering will have to close much more often than at present to prevent flooding from he sea. According to the 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.
Reporting by ANP.