Dam Could Protect Northern Europe from Rising Waters Due to Global Warming

(p. A13) LONDON — One dam would stretch some 300 miles from the coast of Scotland to Norway. The other, roughly 100 miles, would rise in the waters between northern France and Southeastern England.

Together, the mammoth structures proposed by scientists would completely enclose the North Sea and offer protection for tens of millions of Europeans threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change.

The scientists behind the proposal, outlined in a paper published on Thursday [Feb. 13, 2020] in the American Journal of Meteorology, said that the scale of the project — which exists only in the broadest outlines at this point — reflected the urgency of the crisis.

. . .

The project would be one of the largest engineering feats ever attempted on the planet and would cost anywhere from $250 billion to $550 billion, according to the proposal — a cost the authors suggest could be covered by more than a dozen Northern European countries that would be protected by the barrier.

. . .

While the depths of waters are manageable in much of the proposed area to be covered, engineers would also have to contend with the Norwegian Trench, which plunges to a depth of nearly 1,000 feet.

The authors say that technology used by fixed oil rigs could be adapted for the dam.

For the full story, see:

Claire Moses. “‘A Plan We Don’t Want’: Damming the North Sea.” The New York Times, First Section (Sunday, February 16, 2020): A13.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Feb. 14, 2020, and has the title “As Sea Levels Rise, Scientists Offer a Bold Idea: Dam the North Sea.”)

The paper mentioned in the passages quoted above, is:

Groeskamp, Sjoerd, and Joakim Kjellsson. “Need the Northern European Enclosure Dam for If Climate Change Mitigation Fails.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (2020) Published online in advance of print at https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0145.1.

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