View Full Version : The war against the rising sea

09-15-2007, 01:42 AM
Mga kababayan,

I had to post it here even if this is off-topic because, the Philippines is a country of islands and if we do not plan ahead, our country will dissappear just like the movie "Water World" . Our Government must wake up to the danger of global warming and rising sea levels. Read 2 articles below on what Netherlands and Singapore are planning to do about rising sea levels:

Praise for Netherlands' 200-year water defense plan to deal with global warming

The Associated PressPublished: September 8, 2007

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: With two-thirds of the Dutch population living below sea level, the country's government sees the risk of rising seas caused by global warming as a matter of life and death. So it's taking a long term view of the problem a two hundred-year view, to be exact.

The Cabinet announced plans Friday for a new commission to begin preparing water defenses through the year 2200.

"We want to make sure that there's still a Netherlands a century from now," Tineke Huizinga, the country's top water official, told state broadcaster NOS.

"We don't want to just let the water flow and all have to move to Germany."

The Union of Dutch Municipal Governments welcomed the news Saturday, even though the plans will likely lead to new taxes, calling it a "necessity for the Netherlands to prepare for the consequences of possible climate change and to approach it, in the case of water, primarily from a safety standpoint."

"We agree that in this light, we have to hold reckoning with extreme scenarios ... it's important to understand what level of (flooding) risk is acceptable."

The Netherlands' political history and even its name, which means the "lowlands," have been shaped by its location at the delta created by the Rhine and other major European rivers.

The country is in a constant state of constructing and reconstructing its sea and river dikes, and evaluating and re-evaluating the their safety.

In December, the government approved a 15 billion (US$20 billion) increase in spending on water defenses and water quality improvements over the next 20 years.

That was on top of 3 billion (US$4.1 billion) in extra projects already in the works this decade against the threat from river floods, as Dutch climate models predict global warming will lead to more abrupt showers in the Rhine catchment area, whose water ultimately funnels through the Netherlands on its way out to the sea.

The country also spends 500 million (US$680 million) annually on maintaining its intricate existing system of sea and river dikes that have been built and improved for a millennium.

"I don't want to scare people. Our safety is guaranteed for the coming 50 years, insofar as it can ever be ... we spend a lot of money to make sure everything is really in order," Huizinga said.

"But we know that the sea levels are rising, and that's going to demand other solutions."

Dutch policymakers are counting on a rise in sea level of around 80 centimeters (30 inches) in the coming century regardless of the ongoing scientific debate on the causes and likely impact of global warming.

Strategies introduced in the last decade include pumping sand into strategic offshore locations where currents in the North Sea sweep them into place, bulking up dunes; re-establishing minor waterways and canals to allow the country to absorb sudden influxes of water; and designating zones for intentional flooding in an emergency.

Engineers believe these sorts of alterations will work up until about a 1.5 meter (5 foot) rise in sea levels. Then solutions become much more difficult, especially at spots where rivers meet the sea water now released through sluices at low tide cannot be pumped uphill.

Some more long-term ideas include altering the course of the Rhine so that its water travels along a more gradual slope toward the sea; or creating "breaker islands" off the country's North Sea coast as a possible defense against a storm surge.

One such surge in 1953 drove water near the Dutch coast more than 13 feet (4 meters) above normal levels, breaching defenses and killing more than 1,800 people the Netherlands' "Katrina" moment.

The country then also established a commission similar to the one announced by Huizinga on Friday, which eventually undertook a massive 40-year building project that made the country's water defenses among the strongest in the world.

But the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina also spurred the Dutch into a new round of reflection and preparations, including drawing up worst-case scenario plans for evacuations unthinkable politically just a few years ago.

In a statement, the Cabinet said the new commission would "put forward advice by next year on how to sustainably develop the coastline." The commission's chief is to be named later this month.

2nd article:

Vulnerable to rising seas, Singapore envisions a giant seawall

By Wayne Arnold Published: August 29, 2007

SINGAPORE: Surrounded by sea and almost pancake flat, Singapore is without doubt vulnerable to the rising sea levels many scientists predict global warming will cause.

While topographical maps are considered a military secret here, anyone flying into Singapore can easily see that the island is elevation-challenged. Its highest point is a jungle-clad hill rising 165 meters, or 540 feet, above sea level. Most of the business-end of Singapore - its airport, its business district and, of course, its busy container ports, lie less than two meters above sea level.

Faced with the prospect of a long, slow submersion into the very waters that serve as the lifeblood of this maritime trading hub, Singapore has reached out to the world's greatest experts on the subject of battling back the sea - the Dutch.

"We are already in consultations with Delft in Holland to learn how we can build dikes," said Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister, in an interview last Friday.

Delft Hydraulics, a research institute and consulting firm specializing in water management issues in the canalled Dutch city of Delft, is already helping Singapore convert its biggest river and marina into a huge downtown reservoir. Now it is also helping the city-state look into just what it can do to defend its roughly 200-kilometer, or 125-mile, coastline.

"We feel we have strong reasons to be concerned, but no reasons for panic," said Vladan Babovic, director of the Singapore Delft Water Alliance, a $43 million research center opened in February between Delft, the National University of Singapore and the country's water management agency, PUB Singapore. "We will be able to resolve these challenges," he said.

Singapore got a preview of just what havoc rising sea levels could cause back in 1974 when a rare astronomical event caused the tides to rise 3.9 meters, more than double the usual level.

"It eroded the coast very badly," said Wong Poh Poh, an associate professor specializing in beach geography at the National University of Singapore, who studied the event. Areas along the Singapore River were inundated, as were parts of the airport and a coastal public park built on reclaimed land.

Wong later discovered that during such periods of elevated sea levels, the variations between high and low tide are accentuated, putting the country's reservoirs, many of which lie adjacent to the coast, at risk. Singapore officials later used one of Wong's reports to draw the attention of the United Nations to the problems associated with global warming.

Still, no one is certain just how much of Singapore is vulnerable to the problem. The Singapore Delft Water Alliance and researchers at the national university's Tropical Marine Science Institute began a study into the potential effects of climate change on Singapore in March. But the leader of that study, Liong Shie-Yui, said that the group had yet to produce any noteworthy findings.

Assessing the risk is complicated by the fact that no one knows for sure just how much the sea may rise or how fast. Estimates vary from as little as 60 centimeters, or about 24 inches, to as much as 6 meters. And sea levels are not consistent from place to place: atmospheric pressure, wind and currents can cause variations.

Ultimately, Singapore is unlikely to build dikes per se, but rather concrete seawalls, Babovic said. Dikes are technically made of earth. After digging up and quarrying much of its own interior to reclaim new land that has increased Singapore's area by between 15 percent and 20 percent, Singapore now relies on imported landfill and sand for its reclamation efforts and to produce cement for new buildings.

Many scientists believe that dikes are no longer the most environmentally sensitive solution. Wong recommended docks and seawalls back in the early 1990s but now said that more natural structures might work better.

Babovic said that scientists were studying ways to incorporate mangroves and sea grasses into the design of dikes and seawalls to improve their environmental impact and make them look better, too.

"You need more imaginative solutions," said Wong. "What we don't want is to put something there that will constrain future use."

09-15-2007, 02:33 AM
The wrestling for control of the Northwest passage among the Northern countries have become more pronounced with the melting of the polar ice caps. It's not the passage per se but the potential oil underneath. Oil is a strategic political weapon.

The melting of the Polar Ice means rising sea levels. That's one big problem indeed. Being an archipelago does not help either.

Who will decide what cities to save? Kung lalagyan ng dike o anu man diyan ang palibot ng Makati ok na sa akin. Bastos. :D

09-15-2007, 02:49 AM
roko-roko ;D , kawawa ang navotas talagang mawawala sa mapa :D

The wrestling for control of the Northwest passage among the Northern countries have become more pronounced with the melting of the polar ice caps. It's not the passage per se but the potential oil underneath. Oil is a strategic political weapon.

The melting of the Polar Ice* means rising sea levels. That's one big problem indeed. Being an archipelago does not help either.

Who will decide what cities to save?* Kung lalagyan ng dike o anu man diyan ang palibot ng Makati ok na sa akin. Bastos. :D

09-15-2007, 06:55 AM
Uumpisahan na ng government natin yan soon. Ang magla-lobby ng contract si Chairman Abalos at si Big Mike A. ;D ;D ;D

09-15-2007, 10:06 AM
Will transfer this to the Wala Lang sub-forum.