Monday, June 18, 2007

Will Holland be underwater soon?

"The country faces ominous trends as global temperatures rise. Already, 55 percent of the Netherlands' land area is below sea level, protected by a vast system of seawalls, storm-surge barriers, and thousands of dikes that crisscross the countryside. Dutch scientists say sea levels in the region will rise between 25 and 85 centimeters (10 and 33 inches) this century. In addition, weather worldwide is expected to become more extreme, on average. This means a higher likelihood of flooding along the Rhine and other rivers, and a greater risk of droughts. All the while, Dutch land will continue to sink--at a rate of 0.2 centimeters annually in some areas--as the peat soil underlying much of it decomposes, exposed to air by Dutch drainage efforts."


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