A Dutch government scientist has proposed building two mammoth dams to completely enclose the North Sea and protect an estimated 25 million Europeans from the consequences of rising sea levels as a result of global heating. Sjoerd Groeskamp, an oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, said a 475km dam between north Scotland and west Norway and another 160km one between west France and south-west England was “a possible solution”. In a paper to be published this month in the American Journal of Meteorology, Groeskamp and Joakim Kjellsson of the Geomar centre for ocean research in Kiel, Germany, say the idea is affordable and technically feasible – if intended more as “a warning of the immensity of the problem hanging over our heads”.
Guardian 12th Feb 2020 read more »
Times 14th Feb 2020 read more »
The floodwaters are coming for us. Sea levels are rising faster and could swell one to two metres in the next 80 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not swiftly reined in, according to the latest research by UN scientists. It means we are currently on track for many people alive today to see several of the world’s major cities, including London, New York, Shanghai, Los Angeles, largely lost beneath the waves, while the world would lose 1.79 million sq km of land – an area roughly the size of Libya. In Europe, the Netherlands is particularly at risk, with a third of the country already lying below sea level.
Independent 13th Feb 2020 read more »
How close is the West Antarctic ice sheet to a ‘tipping point’? Between its east and west ice sheets and its peninsula, Antarctica holds enough ice to raise global sea levels by around 60m. The West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) is a relatively small part, containing an amount of ice equivalent to 3.3m of sea level rise. Yet, most of it sits in a precarious position and is considered “theoretically unstable”. As a result, how the WAIS will change in response to human-caused warming is generally thought to be the largest source of uncertainty for long-term sea level projections. The most pressing aspect of this uncertainty is understanding whether instability thresholds of ice have been crossed, whether the retreat we are now measuring is destined to continue, and whether ice that appears unchanging today will remain that way in the future.
Carbon Brief 14th Feb 2020 read more »