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Flanders to disappear below the waves in the year 12,020?

Fresh figures from the Free University of Brussels put our present concerns into some perspective.  Detailed research shows that within ten thousand years Flanders could disappear completely under the sea.  That is the worst-case scenario, but even more optimistic long-term forecasts that take account of limited greenhouse gas emissions see sea levels rising 9 metres in Flanders.

The research that has just been published in Earth System Dynamic takes account of models forecasting the future of the icecaps, the atmosphere and the oceans.  The good news is that Flanders is expected to stick close to the averages and not see any extreme developments.  This being said even the average long-term forecasts sound pretty apocalyptic. 

The long-term rise in sea levels on the Flemish coast is expected to range between 9 and 37 metres. A 9-metre rise that takes account of limiting greenhouse gas emissions has the North Sea licking on the outskirts of Antwerp and Mechelen.  The next few decades are seen as crucial in preventing the worst-case scenario.

The Brussels researchers see sea levels rising a metre a century during the next 2,000 years under the worst-case scenario.  If we make the right choices sea level increases could be limited to 11 cm a century. The researchers do not believe the Greenland ice cap can be saved.  For that it is too late.


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