‘Rising sea levels will not flood Holland’

The Netherlands will not be flooded because of global warming but the sea level along the Dutch coast will rise more than the in the rest of the world, according to a report by Dutch environmental think-tank MNP and weather bureau KNMI.

The United Nations climate panel said on Friday that the sea level is set to rise between 18 and 59 centimetres by 2100. But the KNMI says the rise in sea levels off the Dutch coast could be as high as 85 cm because the level of the North Atlantic will rise more than elsewhere.
Increases of less than one metre per century could be tackled using current technology, the Dutch organisations said. However they warned that inland waterways would also be more vulnerable to flooding. Most of the Netherlands is below sea level and the country is protected by a complicated system of dykes, seawalls and sluices.
The UN report said that human behaviour is responsible for more than 90% for global warming. Average temperatures will rise between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees this century, bringing more extreme weather conditions, melting glaciers and raising sea levels.
Reacting to the report, environment minister Pieter Winsemius said the battle to reduce global warming needs a much stronger emphasis in the ongoing cabinet formation talks. ‘Something extra must be done,’ he said. Junior minister Pieter van Geel, tipped for a top environmental job in the next cabinet, said there was no escape from the need to take urgent action.

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