Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-367
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-367

  02 Dec 2020

02 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Introduction to the special issue Venice flooding and sea level: past evolution, present issues and future projections

Piero Lionello1, Robert J. Nicholls2, Georg Umgiesser3, and Davide Zanchettin4 Piero Lionello et al.
  • 1Universit√† del Salento, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, Centro Ecotekne Pal. M - S.P. 6, Lecce Monteroni, Italy
  • 2Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia. Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
  • 3CNR - National Research Council of Italy, ISMAR - Marine Sciences Institute, Castello 2737/F, 30122 Venezia, Italy
  • 4University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre, Italy

Abstract. Venice is an iconic place and a paradigm of a huge historical and cultural value at risk. The frequency of flooding of the city centre has dramatically increased in recent decades and this threat is expected to continue to grow and even accelerate through this century. This special issue collects three review papers addressing different and complementary aspects of the hazards causing the flooding of Venice: (1) the relative sea level rise, (2) the occurrence of extreme sea levels, and (3) the flood prediction. It emerges that the effect of compound events poses critical challenges to the forecast of floods, particularly from the perspective of effectively operating the new MoSE mobile barriers. Two strands of research are needed in the future. Firstly, there is a need to better understand and reduce the uncertainty on the future evolution of relative sea level and its extremes at Venice. However, uncertainty might not be substantially reduced in the near future, reflecting uncertain anthropogenic emissions and structural model features. Hence, complementary adaptive planning strategies appropriate for conditions of uncertainty should be explored and developed in the future.

Piero Lionello et al.

 
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Piero Lionello et al.

Piero Lionello et al.

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Short summary
Venice is an iconic place and a paradigm of a huge historical and cultural value at risk. The threat posed by floods has dramatically increased in recent decades and is expected to continue to grow and even accelerate through this century. There is a need to better understand the future evolution of relative sea level and its extremes at Venice and to develop adaptive planning strategies appropriate for its present uncertainty, which might not be substantially reduced in the near future.
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