Venice will be underwater, Italian scientists predict

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Rising global sea levels in some regions are more than worrisome. A recent study by Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) predicts that in the mid-2nd century. Venice will be underwater – in the famous St. Peter’s Square. The brand will permanently pond up to 70 cm of water. The city’s economic prosperity is at risk, but so is its unique historical and cultural heritage.

Black predictions for 2150.

According to INGV researchers, the infrastructure that currently protects the city from floods will no longer be sufficient if sea levels continue to rise. Every year, the tide range line around Venice increases by about. half a centimeter. At the Lido island it is exactly 4.2 mm, along Malamocco 5 mm. If this pace continues, Venice will be underwater as early as 2150.

In their calculations, the researchers used data collected by Venice’s tide gauge center and satellite information on land sinking between 2008 and 2023. As the study’s author, Marco Anzidei of INGV, explains, global sea level rise, combined with consistent landslides, is leading to increasingly intense coastal erosion, beach retreat and inland sea encroachment.

The fact that Venice will be under water threatens not only the socio-economic situation of the city, but also the condition of the environment. The shallow lagoon here is a unique and sensitive ecosystem, visited annually by dozens of species of migratory birds, including, for example, stilts and sablefish. Many migratory fish spawn in the brachycephalic waters of the lagoon, and five species of mullet have permanent habitats here.

Danger from the sea

The Venetian lagoon is located in the northern Adriatic Sea and covers an area of about 550 square kilometers. The city, which receives 30 million tourists annually, is home to 250,000. The population, of which 50,000. In the strict historic center. Flooding is extremely common here, with 58 episodes of acqua alta (from the lingua fran ca) recorded between 2019 and 2023 alone. Italian high water), and photographs of the submerged St. Peter’s Square. Brands appear in the media with alarming frequency. When the tide rises by 110 centimeters – and this happens very often – 12 percent. The surface of the city is flooded by water. At 140 cm, as much as 59 percent is waterlogged. area.

The interim solution is to be the MOSE project, which has been in operation since 2020. It includes the construction of mobile barriers at the Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia islets to protect access to the lagoon in the event of a major flood wave. The entire system consists of dozens of water gates and is managed in an integrated manner to ensure the safety of the city’s residents while taking care of the relatively smooth movement of vessels calling at the Venetian port. Barriers have already been raised 78 times in four years.

Unfortunately, MOSE is a temporary solution that has no bearing on the fact that in more than a century Venice will be underwater. Critics point out that continually raising the barriers will bring Venice’s port to the brink of bankruptcy, and the lagoon, full of life due to constant tidal washout, will turn into a stinking swamp. And let’s recall that, according to a report prepared in 2021. By the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change in the black scenario average sea level will rise by 63-101 cm by 2100.

It’s not just Venice that will be under water….

According to data from the United Nations Development Program. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), further sea level rise threatens the existence of many of the world’s metropolises. These include. Calcutta in India, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro or Sydney in Australia. The future of the Mediterranean coast also looks in black colors. According to a report published in 2019. losses associated with coastline retreat in southern Europe over the period 1908-2080 will total 18 billion euros. In Spain’s Catalonia alone, sea level rise is expected to rise by 20 percent. reduce the economic gains associated with tourism.

Quite possibly a sign of our times will be the town on the island of Isle de Jean Charles in the US, which had to make an entire move 60 kilometers further north, after the island’s area shrank from 22,000. acres to 320.


Photo. main: Andreas M/Unsplash

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