In the centre of this satellite image we can see Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The city is divided among some 90 islands, has around 1500 bridges and more than 100 km of canals some of which listed as UNESCO World heritage.
Amsterdam lies about 2 m below sea level – in fact, around a third of the Netherlands lies below sea level, making it susceptible to floods. Rising sea waters during periods of bad weather – called storm surges – are kept under control by dams, dikes, floodgates and natural sand dunes. With rising sea levels due to climate change, the Netherlands are facing new challenges in protecting their land from storms and their surges.
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