The map above shows a Dutch proposal to build a series dams around the North Sea to protect Northern Europe from the threat of rising sea levels. The project has an estimated cost of €250-€500B – “merely 0.1% of the gross national product, annually over 20 years, of all the countries that would be protected by such a dam.” Although it’s somewhat questionable how accurate that is.
On the map, 3 dams would be built:
- A 161 km long one between Brittany and Cornwall
- A 145 km long one between the North of Scotland and the Shetland Islands
- A massive 331 km long one between the Shetland Islands and Norway
A total distance of 637km, which would work out to less than €1B per km.
One reason for the potential lower cost is that the North Sea is not all the deep, while it has an average depth of 95 meters it is much shallower in certain sections.
The project could in theory help to protect 25 million people who may be impacted by rising sea levels over the coming decade. The project is the brainchild of Dr Sjoerd Groeskamp, oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, together with his Swedish colleague Joakim Kjellson at GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany.
If you’re interested you can read the full press release here.
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