The Dutch Meeting

From the New York Times:

“Can we actually save the Netherlands? Or should we abandon part of the country?” This is the basic question Dutch leaders were asking themselves within the context of global warming after witnessing Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow to New Orleans in 2005.

During a visit to the Netherlands last week, a delegation from Washington and Louisiana heard that Katrina was a wake-up call for the Dutch because it showed them that levees could fail and that there could be catastrophic damages.

Partly for this reason, the Dutch government appointed a commission — the second Delta Commission — in 2007 with a broad mandate spread over a very long term (2100-2200). The commission was asked to evaluate the potential effects of climate change in the Netherlands and to propose measures to “climate-proof” the country: keep it safe from flooding, while preserving its status as an attractive place to invest in, work and live.

The commission concluded that a regional sea level rise of 0.65 to 1.3 meters (2.13 to 4.27 feet) by 2100 and of 2 to 4 meters (6.56 to 13.12 feet) by 2200 should be taken into account. The sea level along the Dutch coast has already risen by approximately 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) over the past century. “Climate change is now forcing itself upon us: a new reality that cannot be ignored,” wrote the commission in its report, published last year.

“It’s not that we believe that the sea level will rise by 2 meters, but we do need to make sure we take the necessary measures,” professor Louise Fresco, a Delta Commission member, told the American delegation, led by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson during a briefing in The Hague on the commission’s findings.

To read the whole article, click here

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~ by vermilionaire on June 5, 2009.

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