Floods exacerbated by climate change could destroy Venice

chipotle

"Australia is burning. An area about as large as West Virginia has been blackened by the fires and according to a University of Sydney scientist it's estimated a billion animals have died. The blazes are bigger than the ones that torched California and the Amazon, events that took place on different continents, but are part of the same story: global climate change. It's a story not just of fire but water. Before climate scientists worried about Australia burning, they warned that Venice, Italy, is drowning. Man's most beautiful artifact, built on millions of pylons in the middle of a lagoon, may be vanishing before our eyes. The periodic floods of Venice have become more threatening and more frequent. This past November, a sudden storm surge overwhelmed nearly 90% of the city. Climate scientists say what happened that night exactly two months ago in Venice is a warning to the world of what's to come – and not just in Venice."


60 Minutes segment on climate change

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Kathy

If anyone was looking for a sign this should have been it. The council was flooded with the worst flood in 50 years.

Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected ..amendments to tackle climate change,"

We can attribute it to weather or we can be proactive and take measures to correct what we can control. It’s all about choice.



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Jonnygun(zone 7)

Amazing, foundations layed a thousand years ago may need repair. I think, perhaps, Italy needs to spend a little of that money they've been racking in from tourists and enact some repairs.

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blfenton

I thought it was interesting that the Mayor of Venice offered his city to be a study for climate change and would welcome scientists to do research there. They believe climate change exists, kind of a patient zero scenario, if you will.

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Kathy

Evidently they are building a sea defense system but it isn’t due to be finished for a year or so.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties

Lega and Fratelli d'Italia are far right parties, rubbing elbows with the fascists.

Forza Italia is Berlusconi's party.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

building a sea defense system

Berlusconi started work on a defense system for Venice, and charges were flying at one time that it was a boondoggle designed to distribute government funds to Silvio's friends and associates.

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Kathy

Nancy, do you think the sea defense system will help, or is legitimate? Or is it another money pit like the Wall?

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

From what I have read and heard the new flood defence system has been massively delayed by corruption and is also predicted not only not to work, but to make matters worse by narrowing the channel out in the lagoon.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Arrests in Venice for corruption regarding MOSE in 2014: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-27692334

There have been charges that MOSE will not be effective when finished. I first saw this in 2008 when there was a large exhibit in Venice accusing the Berlusconi government of corruption and incompetence.

While Venezia was inundated by acqua alta in November, the opposite side of the peninsula was being flooded by heavy rains. The Arno was beginning to overflow its reinforced and heightened walls in Pisa, but fortunately receded before flooding the city. The highest recorded acqua alta was in 1966, the same time as the disastrous flood in Florence that damaged so much art in Santa Croce and elsewhere near the Arno. I don't know how much Venice is affected by prolonged rains that swell the Po -- which empties into the Adriatic south of the city.

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lurker111

lol...The things some people say. :^)

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Annie Deighnaugh

I think it's too late...before the amazon fires, before the australia fires, before the massive glacier melts in Greenland the climate change scenario was dire. Now I think there's no hope for reversing it...not unless they come up with a technology to actively sequester the CO2 out of the atmosphere....which I doubt will happen. I'm just glad I don't have heirs to inherit the earth from me. It's going to get very, very ugly.

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lurker111

Don't worry about the CO2 lie. That was debunked 15 years ago.


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Stan Areted

I spent time in Venice a few months ago, before the flooding, and learned a bit about the history of and the current engineering plans for the city. New Orleans visitors can learn about that city's unique building history and sustainment as well.

My opinion is that if selfie sticks and cell phones were confiscated before entering the islands it might reclaim some charm.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Go in the winter, Stan. it's a totally different experience. You'll have St Marks almost to yourself.

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haydayhayday

Kathy:

"We can attribute it to weather or we can be proactive and take measures to correct what we can control. It’s all about choice."

Annie:

I think it's too late...before the amazon fires, before the australia fires, before the massive glacier melts in Greenland the climate change scenario was dire. Now I think there's no hope for reversing it...not unless they come up with a technology to actively sequester the CO2 out of the atmosphere....which I doubt will happen. I'm just glad I don't have heirs to inherit the earth from me. It's going to get very, very ugly.

God:

"Eat, Drink and Be Merry!"

Hay:

"If I see a freight train bearing down on me, I don't try to stop it. I step off the track".

One of the internet pundits once said that maybe it is inevitable. If it's inevitable, why are we..you...spending so much effort trying to fend it off?

Wouldn't it make much more sense to accept the reality and deal with the reality? Like, maybe move to higher ground farther North?

A bit of exaggeration in all that, but still.

When Rome burned, Nero played the fiddle. When the Titanic sank, the band played, Nearer my God to Thee.

Given the choices, Hay would have danced.

Hay

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adoptedbyhounds

Speaking of Italy, and not to hijack chipotles thread, I am currently reading a book some of you might enjoy reading, if you haven't read it already. The title is Pompeii, and it was written by Robert Harris.

Days before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, an aquarius (hydraulic engineer) arrives in the Bay of Naples, and quickly suspects the dead fish and sulfurous smelling water, have nothing to do with angering the gods. Word arrives of a failing aquaduct (Aqua Augusta) that supplies water to Pompeii, Napoli, and other cities in the region. He concludes something must be blocking the flow of water, and sets out to discover where the blockage is so it can be repaired. Unfortunately, there is more going on than a simple blockage, as Vesuvius hints it is becoming more active. The flow of water is restricted not by falling debris from above, but from earth rising from below.

The author combines elements of a detective mystery with historical facts , engineering principles and ancient Roman culture to create one of those books that one doesn't want to put down.

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Stan Areted

You know, floral, you are absolutely right!

Three trips to Europe were made in the winter, and it IS an entirely different experience--you can actually be alone in places you always wanted to visit, and soak in and imagine the history, and feel it. Of course summer traveling has it's own charm with verdant trees and so many flowers, but of course more crowds.

However, this trip was with other people and it was in August, which I knew would be the most crowded but never again. Give me Rome in January, Switzerland in February, London in December. Those were great trips and much better memories, because they were of the city and the people, food and culture, and not other travelers.

I do hope to return to St Marks when quieter. The problem is not fellow travelers, it's the disrespect of people jumping on and touching historic architecture to pose and be loud. A poor gondolier abandoned trying to talk to a group of passengers about history as two were lounging busy on their ipads and the others taking selfies. Selfie sticks were something to avoid lest you're poked in the eye or trip when they stop suddenly to take a selfie. Apparently there is a contingent of Madonna want to be young women decked out in costumes, intent on pushing one another out of the way to the narcissism award of the year. It's too distracting.

Back to climate change and fear.



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Stan Areted

adoptedbyhounds, just saw your post.

Thanks for the book recommendation I will order it. Last year I watched a documentary that covered those days leading up to the eruption which covered much of this material; this will be a good opportunity to delve further into the science and enjoy the writing. I'm going to order now!

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blfenton

adoptedbyhounds - thanks for mentioning the book Pompeii by Robert Harris. He seems to have written several historical (ancient) fiction books which all sound interesting. He also wrote a non-fiction book about the composer of the Canadian national anthem O Canada, Calixa Lavalle. I've put both on hold.

Thanks.

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chipotle

Kathy, that defense system may not be adequate for long. According to the story they had initially predicted the gates would only be needed about 10 days a year, but with the Adriactic rising beyond predictions the gates may be needed nearly every day by the middle of the century. They weren't designed for that kind of wear and tear.


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steve2416

I was backpacking in the area a few years back and detoured through: the alley's and people doing their daily chores ( repairing the sewer system and garbage disposal all by boat or narrow barge) was amazing. I'm fascinated by the mundane as I deal with this at home on a daily basis. Even then it was apparent that high tides had forced the hotels and apartments to abandon the first floor lobbies and reposition to the 2nd floor because water was lapping through the open doors into open lobbies and skiffs were moored at the erstwhile steps.

My sisters had seen my pictures ans the 60 minutes presentation really brought it home to them. I worry that this old world is being lost to my grandchildren and they will only see the temporal.

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Kathy

The hotels can empty their lobbies in a hurry and have it all put back by morning when the waters recede. It is a way of life in Venice but it seems it is worse now and the receding land under the water is giving way too.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Originally the Adriatic protected Venice as the best defense against invaders (and was effective until the end of the 18th century). Now the Adriatic threatens to destroy what was built from the sixth century onward.

The islands of Torcello and Murano also suffered from the flooding.

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2019/11/ancient-basilica-on-lagoon-island-hard-hit-in-venice-flood/

One of the most ancient churches of Venice, a Byzantine basilica established in the year 639, counts among the 60 churches damaged in three exceptional floods last week, officials said Tuesday.

The ancient Santa Maria Assunta Basilica, and the adjacent Santa Maria Fosca church, were “abundantly flooded” three times last week, with the lagoon salt water seeping into mosaic floors and the marble columns, said Alessandro Polet, spokesman for the Venice Patriarchate said.

The basilica and its mosaic floors have been cleaned with fresh water, but the extent of the damage will take time to assess. “Damage from salt water you only see after time,’’ Polet said.

Because the salt water penetrates the building materials, damage is often much higher and deeper than the actual water levels. Due to its [Torcello's] position in the lagoon, the water took longer to recede than from the historic center of Venice.

https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-11-17---%22our-notre-dame%22--the-danger-for-venice-s-cultural-treasures-.rJ-o7M90oH.html

In the Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato on the island of Murano volunteers cleaned the Byzantine mosaic from the 12th century. Because the poison is the seawater. If the water retreats, the salt remains and slowly eats away marble and mosaics. "The risk of decomposition is great," said Carpani. There are also toxic dirt particles in the water that come from cruise ships.

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margaritadina

''Annie Deighnaugh ...unless they come up with a technology to actively sequester the CO2''

I hope that they don't. I like having trees around.

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zmith

No need to harm the trees. Just get rid of all the coal-fired power plants.

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