Exploring high-end scenarios for local sea level rise to develop flood protection strategies for a low-lying delta-the Netherlands as an example
Sea level rise, especially combined with possible changes in storm surges and increased river discharge resulting from climate change, poses a major threat in low-lying river deltas. In this study we focus on a specific example of such a delta: the Netherlands. To evaluate whether the country’s flood protection strategy is capable of coping with future climate conditions, an assessment of low-probability/high-impact scenarios is conducted, focusing mainly on sea level rise. We develop a plausible high-end scenario of 0.55 to 1.15 m global mean sea level rise, and 0.40 to 1.05 m rise on the coast of the Netherlands by 2100 (excluding land subsidence), and more than three times these local values by 2200. Together with projections for changes in storm surge height and peak river discharge, these scenarios depict a complex, enhanced flood risk for the Dutch delta.
Authors: Katsman, Caroline A., Sterl, A., Beersma, J.J., van den Brink, H.W., Church, J.A., Hazeleger, W., Kopp, R.E., Kroon, D., Kwadijk, J., Lammersen, R., Lowe, J., Oppenheimer, M., Plag, H.-P., Ridley, J., von Storch, H., Vaughan, David G., Vellinga, P., Vermeersen, L.L.A., van de Wal, R.S.W., Weisse, R.