Guest Weblog by Hendrik Tennekes
My weblogs of 28 October and 7 November, and a incisive two-page centerfold article by Karel Knip in the November 8 issue of NRC/ Handelsblad, Rotterdam’s counterpart to the New York Times, finally received a clear response from KNMI, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
In a November 10 message to the director-in-chief of KNMI, I suggested that the Institute should contemplate issuing a low-end estimate for sea-level rise, in order to balance the alarmist furor sweeping the country. This is exactly what KNMI decided to do. In an op-ed piece in the December 11 issue of NRC/Handelsblad, Wilco Hazeleger, a senior scientist in the global climate research group at KNMI, writes:
“In the past century the sea level has risen twenty centimeters. There is no evidence for accelerated sea-level rise. It is my opinion that there is no need for drastic measures. It is wise to adopt a flexible, step-by-step adaptation strategy. By all means, let us not respond precipitously.”
This opinion, of course, chimes with the statement by Professor Marcel Stive that I quoted earlier:
“Fortunately, the time rate of climate change is slow compared to the life span of the defense structures along our coast. There is enough time for adaptation. We should monitor the situation carefully, but up to now climate change does not cause severe problems for our coastal defense system. IPCC has given lower estimates for the expected sea level rise in four successive reports.”
As far as I am concerned, this settles the matter. KNMI has spoken. It has spoken clearly. There is no imminent danger of accelerated sea-level rise.