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UN climate panel reviews Dutch sea level glitch

Last Updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010 - 11:55

Amsterdam: The UN`s panel of climate experts said on Friday it was reviewing whether it wrongly said that more than half of the Netherlands is below sea level in a new glitch after exaggerating the thaw of Himalayan glaciers.
"We are looking into it," said Brenda Abrar-Milani, a spokeswoman for the Geneva-based Secretariat of the U.N.`s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A 2007 report stretching to about 3,000 pages includes the sentence that "the Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55 percent of its territory is below sea level."

But the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which supplied the data, said on Friday that it should have read that "55 percent of the Netherlands is at risk of flooding".

Only 26 percent of the country is below sea level and 29 percent susceptible to river flooding, such as along the Meuse and Waal rivers well above sea level, it said in a statement.

"The Netherlands is sensitive to climate change. Sea level rise as well as peak river discharges require precautionary measures. The incorrect wording in the IPCC report does not affect this conclusion," it said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, February 6, 2010 - 11:55
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