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The Northern European Enclosure Dam


Master Thesis Projects Available


Download the Open Acces Publication Here

Addition research can be found here.

"If we do need to build it, basically we’ve failed."

Sjoerd Groeskamp in Chart Magazine

The publication of NEED has reached hundreds of millions of people around the world.

We hope it will be a call for action to avoid climate change and related sea level rise,

so we do not need NEED.

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Explaining "NEED" in the Dutch TV Talkshow Op1 (left) and Sky News Interview (right).

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Explaining "NEED" in the Dutch TV Talkshow Op1 (left) and Sky News Interview (right).


Keynote about NEED for NAC (Dutch Earth-Science Congress).

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Below are selections of the media coverage of NEED for

Television, Radio, Newspapers, Youtube video's and more.

[01-02-2020] - NIOZ Press Release


[14-02-2020] - Op1 (Dutch Night-Talkshow)

[11-02-2020] - RTL EditieNL (Dutch News)

[11-02-2020] - Z zoekt uit (Dutch News)

[13-02-2020] - BBC Looking North (UK News ------>

[14-02-2020] - Sky News UK (UK News, above)

[14-02-2020] - AD Ochtend Nieuws (Dutch News)

[29-10-2020] - Code Rood (NPO 3 Documentary)

[11-02-2021] - TV Noord Holland (Pre-recorded interview in Talk show)

[20-05-2022] – NPO2 – AVRO TROS, Onze eeuwige strijd tegen het water

[18-06-2022] – NPO2 Omroep MAX – Eens ging de zee tekeer (afl. 4)


Short film in the making:

[In Progress] - Short film by Veerle van Herk


[01-02-2020] - Vroege Vogels (Dutch)

[08-02-2020] - VRT (Belgium)

[13-02-2020] - BBC Radio 5 Live Drive (UK, audio --->

[20-02-2020] - BBC World Radio Live (UK, audio --->

[20-02-2020] - BBC World Radio Pre-recorded (UK, audio --->

[22-02-2020] - BBC Radio 5 Live "Up all night" (UK)

[26-02-2020] - Europe 1 (French, no interview)

[29-02-2020] - NPO1 NieuwsWeekend (Dutch)

[01-03-2020] - (Germany, by Joakim)

[07-03-2020] - CBC Quirks and Quarks (Canada)

[31-03-2020] - NH Radio (Dutch, audo --->

[23-08-2020] - NPO1 - Fris! (By Veerle van Herk)

[08-02-2021] - NH Radio (Geen fragment meer)

[16-08-2021] - Radio Veronica Middagshow (Tim Klijn)

[16-08-2021] - Radio 4 Denmark (from 26:50 - Peter Keldorff)

00:00 / 05:35

Newspapers and Magazines (Selection)

[08-02-2020] - NRC (Dutch)

[08-02-2020] - Noordhollands Dagblad (Dutch)

[10-02-2020] - Noordhollands Dagblad part 2 (Dutch)

[12-02-2020] - The Guardian (UK)

[13-02-2020] - The Independent (UK)

[13-02-2020] - Die Welt (Germany)

[14-02-2020] - New York Times (USA)

[14-02-2020] - Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch)

[14-02-2020] - Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)

[16-02-2020] - Aftenpost (Norway)

[17-02-2020] - Der Spiegel (Germany)

[17-02-2020] - Di (Sweden)

[19-02-2020] - El Mundo (Spain)

[19-02-2020] - NewsRoom (USA)

[20-02-2020] - La Nacion (Argentina)

[21-02-2020] - Welt+ (Germany)

[23-02-2020] - AftoBladet (Sweden)

[25-02-2020] - Volkskrant (Dutch)

[01-03-2020] - (Germany)

[06-03-2020] - New Scientist (Dutch)

[12-03-2020] - Elsevier Weekblad (Dutch)

[23-03-2020] - Kommersant (Russian)

[25-05-2020] - (Denmark)

[07-07-2020] - MS Amlin - Chart Magazine

[11-08-2021] - Algemeen Dagblad

[16-08-2021] - De Telegraaf (Dutch)

For Dutch readers that want to know more about sea level rise, Rosendal productions keeps an up-to date overview of recent media on the subject, including NEED.

Online News and Info (selection):

[10-02-2020] - Innovation Origins (English)

[10-02-2020] - Business Insider  (English)

[11-02-2020] - Wikipedia (English)

[12-02-2020] - De Wereld Draait Door (Dutch)

[12-02-2020] - (Italy)

[14-02-2020] - (Austria)

[14-02-2020] - Blic (Serbia)

[16-02-2020] - (Norway)

[18-02-2020] - (Italian)

[18-02-2020] - TU Delft Journalistic Platform (English)

[19-02-2020] - [Germany)

[19-02-2020] - Wavelength Magazine (English)

[19-02-2020] - The Indian Express (India)

[28-02-2020] - Science Daily (English)

[28-02-2020] - La Voz De Galicia (Spain)

[29-02-2020] - El Dario (Bolivia)

[29-02-2020] - Klimaschutz (Germany)

[29-02-2020] - Republic (Russia)

[01-03-2020] -

[02-03-2020] - (Italian)

[03-03-2020] - Icona Clima (Italian)

[03-03-2020] - Yle (Finland)

[04-03-2020] -

[18-05-2020] - Industry Sourcing (Chinese)

[27-08-2020] - World Economic Forum



Society today is shaped by the climate of the past. Now that human activities rapidly change the climate, society will need to adapt. Among many other damaging effects, sea level rise (SLR) is also a consequence of climate change. Cities and agricultural land are now threatened by flooding and may become inhabitable or unusable.

The best solution to avoid problems is to mitigate (avoid) human-caused climate change. Considering the uncertainty of our ability to do so, I believe we need to simultaneously prepare for worst case scenario’s. I think about such solutions, while I also try to understand and quantify the effects on SLR due to various fundamental oceanographic processes such as mixing.

The figure above illustrates NEED: "The Northern European Enclosure Dam". It would possibly be a solution, if climate mitigation fails. However, this solution is so dramatic that it may feel unrealistic. And yet, it is merely an example of the scale of the problems we are facing. That is, the threat of SLR is so large, that we need to think in solution that are equally large. Let us hope we can limit climate change and SLR, such that solutions as NEED will not be required.

Joakim and I are, to our knowledge, the first to have written a peer-reviewed scientific article discussing an option to enclose the North Sea. We are however, not the first ones to think of a solution of these scales. For example, a nice illustration was published in the Modern Mechanics in 1930 as an idea to create more land for Europe (see figure below). The second to mention this idea (but no more than a mention) is Johan van Veen, as can be read in his biography "Meester van de Zee". An idea more on the scale of NEED was proposed by two British Meteorologist in 1986. This idea was drawn up by P. Cruijff in an unpublished manuscript called "50 jaar zonsopkomsten". I was recently send an email by Joop Boomsma, who wrote wrote about this idea in 2010 in a local newspaper in a short opinion piece. Finally, the most recent version known to us is that drawn up by Deltares. None of these are peer-reviewed publications. In fact, since the publication of NEED I've had many emails from people who admitted they had though of a similar sort of dam, but never worked it out. There are publication of Mega Enclosures for the Hormuz Straight (Schuiling et al 2005), the Bering Straight (Cathcart et al, 2010), while Herman Sörgel has mentioned the idea of a dam in the Straight off Gibraltar back in the 1930's (Alantropa). This idea is worked out in more detail  by Gower, 2015.


The process Joakim and I went through to write NEED was as follows. The idea of NEED came to me on Januari the 8th of 2018. At that time, I lived in Sydney (Australia) and was in the Netherlands over Christmas. I was thinking about returning to the Netherlands, including the possibilities of buying a house. Considering SLR, I wondered if buying a house in the Netherlands would be worth the investment. I quickly realised that protecting the Netherlands against several meters of SLR would be very difficult and would require collaborations with neighbouring countries. This train of thoughts very quickly lead to the concept of NEED. A long process followed in which I emailed many colleagues about this idea. From their reactions I realised that NEED was a special idea and should be written down and published. Along the way, Dr. Joakim Kjellsson saw the importance of this idea and worked with me to define how we should do this exactly and performed numerical simulations of circulation changes. Together we had a proposal approved for computer time on a very fast German computer, to do these simulations. From the idea to the publication, took more than two years. It was afterwards that I was pointed at the unpublished literature on similar ideas. There seems to be no such thing as a new idea.

Original Research Publication:

[13-02-2020] - NEED: The Northern European Enclosure Dam for when climate change mitigation fails.

                        The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (Open Acces Link)

Additional Research and Publications:

2022 - Nota, H. K. (MSc. Thesis):

           Northern European Enclosure Dam(NEED)

           Financial feasibility of large-scale adaptation strategies for future

           SLR in Northern Europe: NEED vs Dike Reinforcement

            Delft University of Technology (pdf)

2021 - Keijzer, T. (MSc. Thesis):

           Northern European Enclosure Dam. Success and failure factors for a very radical innovation (pdf).

           Delft University of Technology

2021 - F. Kollaard, C. Meijers, C. van Strien, I. van der Veer, L. de Vries, Sjoerd Groeskamp and

           Martine Rutten:

           Northern European Enclosure Dam: what are the effects? The future of the North Sea if climate mitigation fails.

           TU Delft Deltalinks (online)

2021 - S. Groeskamp, J. Kjellsson

           NEED: The Northern European Enclosure Dam

           Featured in Europhysics News (pdf)

2021 - F. Kollaard, C. Meijers, C. van Strien, I. van der Veer and L. de Vries. (MSc. Multidisciplinary Project):

           The Northern European Enclosure Dam. A multidisciplinary project on the effects of NEED (pdf).

           Delft University of Technology

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