The art-infested Italian city of Venice got a good cleaning this weekend as the acqua alta high tide sloshed over ancient squares and into palazzo basements. Okay, if palazzos don’t have basements, where do they keep all that wine?
In areas of Venice that are under water, tourists and other pedestrians crowd together on narrow wooden walkways (passerelle). Water depth can range from 1 to 2 meters (about 3 feet, 3 3/5 inches to 6 feet, 6 7/10th inches). Good thing high-heeled boots are in fashion; there’s never a vacant gondola around when you need one.
What’s up with that? Apart from subsidence (the reason for those hairline cracks in your house’s walls), it appears the rise in sea levels is due to climate change (aka global warming). Is that what’s causing this weekend’s problems in Norfolk Virginia? Could be. Norfolk’s solution, tilting storm sewers and elevating a waterside roadbed, is less complex than the ones in Venice, which involve tidal barriers and huge jacks to elevate ancient stone structures. The number of high water events in Venice has been increasing. Look for more floods in Bangkok, Bangladesh, Florida, and the Niger and Mississippi deltas.
To Venice we say “Buona fortuna.” Yo, Norfolk: Good luck, y’all. Your state’s Attorney General doesn’t think Global Warming is real.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.