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Tuesday 16 September  
Dutch polder by the sea
Rob Kievit's picture
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The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Sea level blunder enrages Dutch minister

Published on : 4 February 2010 - 10:24am | By Rob Kievit (FlickR/Shoot It!)
More about:

A United Nations report wrongly claimed that more than half of the Netherlands is currently below sea level.

In fact, just 20 percent of the country consists of polders that are pumped dry, and which are at risk of flooding if global warming causes rising sea levels. Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of the climate reports which she uses to base her policies on.
 

Climate-sceptic MPs were quick to react. Conservative MP Helma Neppérus and Richard de Mos from the right-wing Freedom Party want the minister to explain to parliament how these figures were used to decide on national climate policy. "This may invalidate all claims that the last decades were the hottest ever," Mr De Mos said.
 

The incorrect figures which date back to 2007 were revealed on Wednesday by the weekly Vrij Nederland. The Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency told reporters that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) added together two figures supplied by the agency: the area of the Netherlands which is below sea-level and the area which is susceptible to flooding. In fact, these areas overlap, so the figures should not have been combined to produce the 55 percent quoted by the IPCC.

The discovery comes just a week after a prediction about glaciers in the Himalayas proved wrong. Rather than disappearing by 2035, as IPCC reports claim, the original research underlying the report predicted the mountain ice would last until 2350.
 

Urbanisation
Questions are being asked on a broader scale too about climate-change data. US researchers Joseph D'Aleo and Anthony Watts, quoted in Dutch daily De Telegraaf, say the perceived global temperature rise may be an result of changes in the measuring methods.

There used to be 6,000 measuring posts, they say, but now there are just 1,500. A number of weather stations in colder areas like Siberia and the Arctic were dismantled, while the remaining stations were in more moderate zones. As a consequence, data from colder areas was no longer used in the calculations.
 

D'Aleo and Watts also point to discrepancies between terrestrial and satellite measurements. Satellite weather stations report that the temperature of the earth's atmosphere has remained stable, with a slight fall since 2001.

Earth-based weather stations report an increase in warmth which, according to the two Americans, reflects the process of urbanisation. Measuring posts that used to be in remote rural areas have gradually been surrounded by roads, buildings or industry, all of which produce heat.
 

Solar activity
Dutch researchers reporting to Minister Cramer on Wednesday said that global warming appears to be slower than had been assumed. In a brochure published by the Dutch Platform for Communication on Climate Change (PCCC) the academics say that sunspot activity was relatively low over the past decade and will continue to be low for the foreseeable future.

The lower the solar activity, the smaller the warming effect. According to the PCCC, the average temperature may even decrease by between 0.2 and 0.4 degrees, but they warn that this is just a slight dent in the much stronger rising trend. "The heat is still on," according to the PCCC report.

  • Netherlands below sea level<br>&copy; Rijkswaterstaat - http://www.rijkswaterstaat.nl/

Discussion

randy ortan 23 August 2011 - 11:32am

I do not understand why they made a mistake. They were so out of these statistics. How could this happen. They need to get back to work.

eva12 12 August 2011 - 11:19am

In fact, just 20 percent of the country consists of polders that are pumped dry, and which are at risk of flooding if global warming causes rising sea levels. Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of the climate reports which she uses to base her policies on. 

inter4522 2 May 2011 - 7:39pm

I cannot understand why they made this mistake. They were so off on these stats. how did this happen. They need to go back to work.

rubby 10 February 2011 - 12:56am

I think people need to start to pay attention to the flood risk although I don't think this will happen any time in the near future. There is still time to do something to avoid the disaster. If I lived in a risk area like that I would probably start paying for home insurance, I already have it for my new apartment, safety always comes first.

Jane 14 November 2010 - 6:21pm

News''The head of the UN body on climate change is under pressure to resign after one of its staunchest allies in the environmental movement said that his trial was flawed and ordered a new leader to restore confidence in climate science . In some banks, there are a new saving program for children. It's a program without administration fee in charge. And the minimum saldo is fewer.

corded phonesA 3 November 2010 - 10:22pm / United States

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action games 5 April 2010 - 4:44am

News''The head of the UN’s climate change body is under pressure to resign after one of his strongest allies in the environmental movement said his judgment was flawed and called for a new leader to restore confidence in climatic science.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has insisted that he will remain in post for another four years despite having failed to act on a serious error in the body’s 2007 report.
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John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , said that Dr Pachauri should have acted as soon as he had been informed of the error, even though issuing a correction would have embarrassed the IPCC on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.''

1voxpopuli 22 February 2010 - 1:56am / united states

apparently, newsweek magazine (among others here in the states) would consider Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer a "conspiracy theorist"...

"Deniers have long taken advantage of scientists' cautious statements, and "Climategate" breathed new life into the movement, but the science stands: warming is real, and it's caused by human actions."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/233518?GT1=43002

i just thought you'd like to know...

i disagree...and i'm not alone...

"This prognosis is, of course, complete nonsense," says John Shroder, a geologist and expert on glaciers at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. The results of his research tell a completely different story.

"For the past three decades, the US glaciologist has been traversing the majestic mountains of the Himalayan region, particularly the Karakorum Range, with his measuring instruments. The discoveries he has made along the way are not consistent with the assessment long held by the IPCC. "While many glaciers are shrinking, others are stable and some are even growing," says Shroder."

http://abcnews.go.com/International/climate-change-forecasts-trusted/sto...

i personally don't believe that an organization that has taken a cut-and-paste approach to reporting on such a "critical" issue without verifying facts first is either rational or legitimate...let alone "cautious"...

that being said, i may have uncovered a couple of facts that not only do the united nations climate "experts" not want you to hear, but that may help your environment minister in her research...

http://morphinedreams.com/blog6.php/2010/02/20/david-a-graham-conspiracy...

NOTE: if you do check out morphindreams.com, i will let you know up front that i have no agenda, and i occasionally tend to use language that would be considered "unprofessional" in your field, and "offensive" to some...

Yar 17 February 2010 - 4:04pm / Canada

Enough lies have been exposed from the IPCC and the main group of scientists pushing the global warming theories that none of it should be taken as fact or truth. In fact, all those involved in falsifying data and hiding data should have their credentials revoked permanantly. As well, they should all be sued for recovery of all tax dollars spent on the scam. Governments that are still dense enough to be pushing spending on this scam shoulkd be voted out of office at the first opportunity and if any of these politicians have made a profit off of the scam, the money should be confiscated and charges should be laid.

I want my tax dollars back, or send it to Haiti to help there.

KIYAN 16 February 2010 - 10:19am / india

a correction statement from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency -http://www.pbl.nl/en/dossiers/Climatechange/content/correction-wording-flood-risks.html

ScientistForTruth 5 February 2010 - 5:59pm

For the benefit of other commenters and viewers, please see the background and details on Glaciergate here:

http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/un-ipcc-rotting-from-the-hea...

This post shows that there can be no doubt that the IPCC knew the 2035 date was a lie, and those who compiled that chapter have recently confessed the same.

ScientistForTruth 5 February 2010 - 5:54pm

IPCC: “The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced.”

As far as the IPCC is concerned, giving them the benefit of a few years before 2007, they could have checked official government statistics from CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics, “Statistics Netherlands”), which in their Statistical Yearbook of the Netherlands 2004, page 451, gives the figure for proportion of land below sea level as 24%.

http://www.cbs.nl/NR/rdonlyres/3C60B3E9-09E0-491F-87F2-99B8E54936A1/0/20...

Of course, what else is wrong with the IPCC quote is that it takes the Netherlands as a classic example: “The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding…”

But this is what the Dutch government has to say in “Sustainability Monitor for the Netherlands 2009″

http://www.cbs.nl/NR/rdonlyres/A36109C6-85F5-4371-8625-9D504C7DF957/0/20...

“In its 2006 climate scenarios, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) predicts that sea levels along the Dutch coast may rise by 35 to 85 centimetres. This is larger than the global average rise foreseen by the IPCC. Current technology enables the Dutch to reinforce its shore protection systems at socially acceptable costs (MNP, 2007b), even if the rate of sea level rise increases to 1.5 metres per century as a result of the increasing melting rates of the large land ice caps.
…The Netherlands will probably be able to withstand climate change and rising sea levels for a number of centuries to come. The safety of the country appears to be guaranteed to 2100 with respect to rising sea levels and river drainage. Even in the worst-case sea level rise of 1.5 metres per century, flooding will be able to be prevented with existing technology (reinforcing and raising dykes, at a cost of a maximum of 0.15 percent of GDP).”

Highly susceptible, my foot! – the Netherlands can easily withstand sea level rise FOR CENTURIES at moderate cost and existing technology – i.e. it’s business as normal. Looks like Glaciergate all over again. What is in the IPCC report is a lie, and a cruel hoax.

sci_sighs 4 February 2010 - 3:38pm

I'm disturbed by this statement in the article: "Rather than disappearing by 2035, as IPCC reports claim, the mountain ice would last until 2350, according to the original research underlying the report."

That makes it sound like the error was merely a typo--2035 vs. 2350.

From all I've read, the real problem was that there WAS no original research:

"But the IPCC have since admitted it was based on a report written in a science journal and even the scientist who was the subject of the original story admits it was not based on fact. The article, in the New Scientist, was not even based on a research paper - it evolved from a short telephone interview with the academic. Dr Syed Hasnain, an Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, said that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7011713/UN-report-on-glaciers...

jasmin 4 February 2010 - 1:28pm / India

News''The head of the UN’s climate change body is under pressure to resign after one of his strongest allies in the environmental movement said his judgment was flawed and called for a new leader to restore confidence in climatic science.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has insisted that he will remain in post for another four years despite having failed to act on a serious error in the body’s 2007 report.

John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , said that Dr Pachauri should have acted as soon as he had been informed of the error, even though issuing a correction would have embarrassed the IPCC on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.''
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7014203.ece

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