NEWS » Italy sinking - literally?

Italy sinking - literally?

A study by the Laboratory of Climate Modelling and the journal Quaternary Science Reviews revealed that the Italian coasts will change over the next 80 years due to the rising of the see level.


However, Italy could be completely submerged by the end of the century with 5,500 square kilometres of coastal plains ending up under water.


The Laboratory of Climate Modelling and the journal Quaternary Science Reviews studied four sensitive areas of the Italian peninsula which will feel the impact of rising sea level. They are, the North Adriatic, the Gulf of Taranto, the Gulf of Oristano and the Gulf of Cagliari. Some areas are already close to or below the sea level.

The analysis took into account the most recent projections of sea-level rise between a minimum of 53cm and a maximum of 97cm, and the effects due to geological and geomorphological changes.


As it was pointed out by Fabrizio Antonioli, the director of research at the Laboratory of Climate Modelling and Impact of ENEA in many areas the coast is flat and there are no dunes to act as a natural barrier.


The only way to save Italian coasts is to improve the efficiency of the dams to protect them. If no reinforcement measures are taken the cities of Aquileia Adria, Ravenna and Rovigo will be at risk of flooding and the coastline could arrive less than 10km from Ferrara.


Italy at the end of the century will be very different from the one we know now

Climate change experts have dramatically predicted that by the year 2100, the maximum elevation calculated will be approximately 101 cm above the current sea level for the North Adriatic.


In addition, it will be 96cm for the Gulf of Cagliari, 95cm for Oristano and 92cm for the Gulf of Taranto.


The coastline near Venice could also recede 30 kilometres and the area between Trieste and Venice is one of the most at risk.


Scientist have found that even limiting greenhouse gases is not the solution.


If no drastic action is taken the sea level is still expected to increase by 0.5 metres during the twenty-first century.


Coastal communities need to be made aware of the danger as they are unprepared to face the future disaster. 70 percent of the population live in the coastal area and these shores are also home to important business establishments and the centre of thriving tourist activities. All of these will be threatened by coastal erosion and the risk of flooding. 

Giulia Lombardo

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