Sea level could rise much more than expected off the Dutch coast, up to two meters around 2100, the Meteorological Institute of the Netherlands, a country vulnerable to rising sea levels, said on Monday.
“Projections show more sea level rise than before“, said the Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in a report, a few days before the start of COP26 in Scotland.
With around a third of the territory below sea level, the Netherlands is particularly vulnerable to global warming, but also one of the biggest polluters per capita in Europe.
“If we do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the sea level off the Dutch coast could rise by 1.2 meters around 2100 compared to the beginning of this century.“, and 2 meters if the melting of the ice cap at the South Pole accelerates, added the KNMI.
The institute had previously concluded that the rise in sea level would be at most one meter.
For the first time, the 2-meter mark is not excluded from the forecasts, said the Water Office from the Netherlands, affected like Germany and Belgium by floods in July.
“Gone are the days when we could control the water, land and soil as we pleased.“said Rogier van de Sande, chairman of the office, a public authority in charge of water management.
“Drastic choices are needed in the spatial planning of the Netherlands“to contain the consequences of climate change,” he added.
With its storm barriers, constant innovations and thousands of kilometers of dikes and dunes, the Netherlands has long prided itself on being the “safest delta in the world“.