Climate change threat to Venice
May 19, 2023 - After centuries of flooding, Venice is using MOSE, a $5 billion dollar system of seawall structures, more than expected as it faces the realities of climate change and rising sea levels.
MOSE comprises 78 flood barriers that guard the three entrances to the lagoon in which the Most Serene Republic was established over 1,500 years ago. Designed to protect the city against tides of up to 3 metres, they were nevertheless expected to be used only five times a year for tides of over one metre.
However, a combination of tectonic settling over thousands of years, extraction of groundwater for industrial needs in the 20th century and rising sea levels due to climate change has meant the barriers have instead been used almost 50 times in just two years. The increasing frequency of their use is now threatening to affect the natural flow of water between the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea.