Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humor? Dr Sjoerd Groeskamp, an oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and Joakim Kjellson at GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany surely must have had a mischievous smile on their faces when they submitted their latest idea to the Bulletin of the American Meterological Society recently.
Their idea? Build two dams across the North Sea — one 475 kilometers long from the north of Scotland to the west coast of Norway, and another one 160 kilometers long across the English Channel from southwest England to Brest on the western tip of France. Why would anyone do such a thing? To protect 25 million people from higher sea levels, which are projected to rise by as much as 10 meters (33 feet) by the year 2500, according to some estimates.
‘The construction of such a North-European Enclosure Dam seems to be technically feasible,” Groeskamp maintains, according to Science Daily. ‘The maximum depth of the North Sea between France and England is scarcely one hundred meters. The average depth between Scotland and Norway is 127 meters, with a maximum of 321 meters just off the coast of Norway. We are currently able to build fixed platforms in depths exceeding 500 meters, so such a dam seems feasible too.”
How Much Would That Cost?
The pair of scientists estimates building the two dams would cost between 250 and 500 million euros, which is a very affordable 0.1% of the gross national product every year for 20 years of all the countries that would be protected by the dams.
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