September 29, 2019

Netherlands’s biggest dike being heavily reinforced

Filed under: Nature,Science,Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:08 pm


The Afsluitdijk, a 32-kilometer dike that is 87 years old, is one of the key water defences against the sea, located between the provinces of North Holland and Friesland. Due to climate change, which causes rising sea levels and storms, the dike is being thoroughly renovated through 2023. You’ll notice that at least the parties involved believe in climate change – they’re not taking any chances. “The Netherlands is currently the safest delta in the world,” the government said. “We want to keep it that way.” Although sea levels have been rising for years, the levels are rising more quickly.

Engineers are strengthening the Afsluitdijk, including laying thousands of custom-made concrete blocks and raising parts of it. They are also improving the highway that runs over the narrow strip of human-made land which lies between the shallow Wadden Sea and the Ijsselmeer inland sea and which, despite its name, is technically a dam rather than a dike because it separates water from water.

This kind of innovation and the constant care needed to maintain the Netherland’s thousands of miles of dikes and levees does not come cheap. The government has earmarked nearly 18 billion euros ($20 billion) to fund such projects for the period from 2020-2033.

(Link:; photo:

Tags: , ,

August 28, 2011

Weather prediction for the next ten years—rain, rain, rain

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 12:09 pm

It’s been raining a lot here this summer—I thought I’d share the pain (and the view from my window) a bit.

Meanwhile, Noordhoff publishers and the Dutch weather office, KNMI, presented a climate atlas last week. Some interesting tidbits:

* Worldwide the temperature has risen 0.7 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years, in the Netherlands that was 1.4.

* The temperature in Amsterdam averages 11 degrees Celsius over the past thirty years, which is the same average as Lyon (in the South of France) had thirty years ago.

* The rainiest places in the country are the Veluwe (the nature reserve in the middle of the country) and the North of Amsterdam.

* The skies released 850 litres water per square metre on average; 100 years ago that average was 700 litres.

Since we’re in the middle of a period of global warming, it is expected that these trends will continue (though KNMI is hedging its bets).

Update August 31, 2011: Dutch News: It’s official: this is the wettest summer since 1906.

(Links:, Vereniging voor Weerkunde en Klimatologie)

Tags: , , , ,