The Northern European Enclosure Dam: NEED

A pair of researchers, Sjoerd Groeskamp and Joakim Kjellsson, have proposed damming the North Sea (and the Baltic Sea) to mitigate rising sea levels.

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This is estimated at a price of $750 billion dollars, and would involve the construction of two dams:

This can be achieved by constructing two enclosure dams [as shown above]. The southern part of NEED connects France (near Brest) to the south-west coast of England and measures 161 km in length with an average depth of about 85 m and a maximum depth of 102 m. The Northern part of NEED extends from the north-east tip of Scotland, via the Orkney and Shetland Islands to Bergen in Norway. The northern part has a total length of 476 km and average depth of 127 m with a maximum of 321 m in the Norwegian Trench. The two components together are referred to as NEED and have a total length of 637 km. The construction of NEED would protect coastal communities that under current population density consist of about 25 million people below 2 m SLR while 55 million live below 15 m SLR. If constructed, NEED would be one of the largest civil-engineering challenges ever faced. Alternative configurations of NEED are considered less effective.

Thinking big.

Ultimately, if erected, this would turn the North and Baltic Seas in a giant, freshwater lake.

Originally published at

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Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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