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Venice Offers Lessons on Coping with Rising Seas

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Author Topic: Venice Offers Lessons on Coping with Rising Seas  (Read 1459 times)
Bianca
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« on: January 08, 2008, 06:38:33 am »



On the central canal in Venice, people have cemented ground-floor
windows to protect against the floods.

Nobody lives on the ground floor in Venice anymore.









Moving Upstairs



No Venetian lives on the ground floor any more.

In the last century, the city sank 11 inches, mostly due to the pumping of groundwater and methane gas for local industries. But it has also being affected by rising sea levels.

What that means is that the same tides that were not flooding the city 100 years ago are now high-tide events. It's called acqua alta.

High water afflicts Venice mostly in the winter. A century ago it happened seven times a year, now it's more like a hundred.

The visionaries who first began building Venice 1,300 years ago used materials for the foundations that could withstand water. But with the seabed sinking, brick walls on the ground floors are being corroded and waterlogged buildings are crumbling.

Sophisticated technology is now being used to rescue the lagoon. MOSE, the acronym in Italian for experimental electromechanic module, is the biggest public works project in Italian history.

MOSE is also the Italian word for Moses, recalling the biblical parting of the Red Sea.

The project is building 78 floodgates at the three inlets that link the Venice lagoon to the Adriatic Sea. Del Pol says one of the gates' characteristics is their flexibility.

Depending on the type of tides, there are differing ways to manage the gates.

"You are not obliged to close the whole lagoon," she says. "You can close one inlet and not the other.

"In case of wind coming from a certain direction, you can chose not closing the whole system but only parts of the gates for certain types of tides.

"So you continue to have an exchange of water, not totally blocked."
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 07:54:15 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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