Starting Point Groningen Two Scenarios

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) brings together the latest scientific knowledge. In 2007 the fourth assessment was published (IPCC, 2007). In the assessment the climate is not predicted, but the best possible projections and scenarios are developed. Ideally these scenarios contain the largest part of the uncertainties of the future. In the IPCC, the KNMI and the National Environmental Agency (MNP) represent the Netherlands. The knowledge that is available and is brought together in the IPCC is made available for the Dutch situation in 2006. The KNMI developed four Dutch climate scenarios (KNMI, 2006), which describe the bandwidth for future climate change and offers the basis for policy decisions. For the Groningen situation the most extreme elements out of the KNMI scenarios were used to build one new scenario (DHV, 2007). Scientifically and methodologically not the most pure form, but the use of one scenario makes it possible to understand the complexity of the scenarios better. Beside this combined scenario, an extreme scenario is developed, which uses the starting point of an accelerated melt of the ice-caps of Greenland and western Antarctica. This scenario is seen as less probable, but arctic researchers expect that extreme developments on the poles might be realistic and that the KNMI scenarios are too moderate (Carlson, 2006; Haquebord, 2007). In this scenario the sea level rise is predicted to rise ten times faster than the last 10-15 years has happened. This seems very unlikely. However, by developing two scenarios, a moderate and an extreme one, the debate on possible measures took

Table 2.2 The Groningen scenarios for 2050

Elements from the KNMI scenarios

Extreme accelerated melting of land-ice

Precipitation spring and autumn

+ 20%

+ 30%

Precipitation summer



Precipitation winter

+ 15%

+ 30%


+ 1.5

+ 3.0

Sea level rise

+ 35 cm

+ 150 cm

Source: Roggema, 2007a.

Source: Roggema, 2007a.

place in full bandwidth. The starting point of the two scenarios are summarised in Table 2.2.

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