This international scientific assessment has been carried out at the request of the Dutch Delta Committee. The Committee requested that the assessment explore the high-end climate change scenarios for flood protection of the Netherlands. It is a state-of–the art scientific assessment of the upper bound values and longer term projections (for sea level rise up to 2200) of climate induced sea level rise, changing storm surge conditions and peak discharge of river Rhine. It comprises a review of recent studies, model projections and expert opinions of more than 20 leading climate scientists from different countries around the North Sea, Australia and the USA. Although building on the previous IPCC AR4 (2007) and KNMI (2006) assessments, this report deliberately explores low probability/high impact scenarios, which will pose significant threats to the safety of people and infrastructure and capital invested below sea level. According to its high-end estimates global mean sea level may rise in the range of 0.55 - 1.10 m in 2100 and 1.5 - 3.5 m in 2200, when higher temperature rise scenarios (up to 6 ˚C by 2100) and increased ice discharge from Antarctica are considered. This would correspond with local sea levels along the coast of the Netherlands of up to maximally 1.20 m in 2100 and 4 m in 2200. An increase in peak discharge of river Rhine of 3 to 19% for 2050 and 6 to 38% for 2100 is foreseen. The storm regime along the Dutch North Sea coast in terms of maximum surge level will probably not change significantly in this extreme climate change frame.
Pier Vellinga, Caroline Katsman, Andreas Sterl, Jules Beersma, Wilco
Hazeleger, John Church, Robert Kopp, Dick Kroon, Michael Oppenheimer,
Hans-Peter Plag, Stefan Rahmstorf, Jason Lowe, Jeff Ridley, Hans von
Storch, David Vaughan, Roderik van de Wal, Ralf Weisse, Jaap Kwadijk,
Rita Lammersen, Natasha Marinova. Exploring high-end climate change scenarios for flood protection of the Netherlands
KNMI number: WR-09-05, Year: 2009, Pages: 144