The danger of flooding threatens more than 30 regions of Italy. This is mainly due to global climate change. More recently, scientists have voiced a time when under water can disappear Venice - one of the most unusual cities on the Adriatic coast.
Scientists from Italy and Switzerland have determined in which areas of the city there is the greatest flooding, and what exactly causes this. The specialists compiled a corresponding map on which the most "dangerous" places were listed.
Details of the study were published by the authors in the periodical Scientific Reports.
As suggested by the researchers, before the year 2100 the average level of the terrain on which Venice is located will be lower approximately from 17 to 53 cm. If we take into account that the protruding part of the land in the central part of the city is approximately 90 cm higher than the water level, will lead to that the period of tides will be observed much more often (for today it is four times for a year, and subsequently it is expected to 20-250 times).
The map, compiled by the researchers, was based on information received from satellites, using two radio wave bands with different frequency and spatial resolution. This information was collected during two periods - from 1992 to 2010, and also from 2008 to 2011.
If you look at the period of the last century, you can see that Venice plunged into the water by 25 centimeters: fifteen centimeters out of them is the depletion of groundwater, and ten centimeters is the elevated sea level.
Since 2003, in order to prevent the flooding of Venice, the city government began construction of protective dams.
The fact that the unique city settles, scientists know for a long time. Experts regularly measure the water level in Venice, experts began only in 1872, so the countdown of flooding began from this date.
The total number of floods in Venice has increased significantly lately. At least four to five times a year, residents have to move around the city using wooden boards and crossbeams. The reason for this is not only the rise in sea level, but also the subsidence of the city.
However, many Italian experts believe that this gradual settling can not be considered very pronounced. "At 1-2 millimeters per year - this is an insignificant value, compared with the indicators that we observed a few dozen years ago," - commented the scientists representing the Italian University of Padova. Indeed, the rapid decline in the last century was largely due to natural processes and the pumping out of groundwater. Also in this period, a rise in sea level of 11 centimeters was recorded.
Nevertheless, most scientists express confidence that Venice does not expect such an optimistic future. Constructed in case of flooding barriers, presumably, will soon have to be used very often. It is expected that by the end of this century the sea level will rise by another half a meter, which may exacerbate the problem of flooding the city.