官方APP下载:英语学习播客(支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
公众微信服务号(英语全能特训)
英语全能特训(微信公众服务号)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

Flooding in Venice Worsening During Climate Change

作者:Gregory Stachel 发布日期:10-22-2021

Venice, Italy, is known for its beautiful buildings and waterways, or canals. But the way that the 1,600-year-old city was built makes it especially at risk of damage from sea-level rise.

Rising sea levels are increasing the number of floods during high tides. And for many years, Venice has been slowly sinking.

Climate scientists and world leaders plan to meet later this month in Scotland for a major United Nations climate conference. They will be thinking of the future of coastal cities like Venice.

Last month, the European Geosciences Union released a new study on Venice. It found that the Italian city could see a sea-level rise of 120 centimeters by the end of the century. That is 50 percent higher than the worst-case average that U.N. scientists have predicted for worldwide rising sea levels by 2100.

One of the most famous places in Venice is St. Mark's Basilica. The religious building sits at Venice's lowest area. It offers scientists a chance to observe the effects of rising seas on the city. The square floods during an 80-centimeter rise. Water gets into the building itself at 88 centimeters.

Carlo Alberto Tesserin is the building's chief caretaker. He told The Associated Press that flooding no longer happens from time to time. He said, "It is an everyday occurrence."

Floods above 1.1 meters are called "acqua alta," or "high water." Venice has experienced 163 such floods in the past 20 years. That is almost as many as the city faced during the 100 years before that.

Exceptional floods over 140 centimeters are also increasing. That mark has been hit 25 times since Venice started keeping records in 1872. Two-thirds happened in the last 20 years. One-fifth happened during a disastrous flooding period in late 2019.

The Venice Water Authority built a special system of moveable underwater barriers to help protect the city. The system is known as MOSE. The project cost nearly $7 billion. It has faced many years of cost overruns, delays and corruption and is still officially in the testing phase.

Since October 2020, MOSE's barriers have been raised 20 times. The system currently protects the cities from some but not all floods.

Elisabetta Spitz is one of the head officials of the project. She said the project's completion has been delayed until 2023. She said $580 million in spending for "improvements" will make sure of its long-term effectiveness.

Paolo Vielmo is an engineer. He notes that when MOSE was first proposed, sea-level rise was projected at 22 centimeters. That is far below U.N. scientists current worst-case prediction of 80 centimeters.

Current plans say that MOSE barriers will not raise for floods of 1.1 meters until the project receives final approval. That leaves St. Mark's Basilica in danger.

Annapaola Lavena has a business along the square in front of St. Mark's. She and other business owners there increasingly see themselves at the center of the climate crisis.

"The acqua alta is getting worse, and it completely blocks business. Venice lives thanks to its artisans and tourism. If there is no more tourism, Venice dies," she said.

"We have a great responsibility in trying to save it," Lavena added, "… but we are suffering a lot."

I'm Gregory Stachel.

Colleen Barry reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

tide n. the regular upward and downward movement of the level of the ocean that is caused by the pull of the Sun and the Moon on the Earth

occurrence n. something that happens

scandal – n. an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong

phase n. a part or step in a process: one part in a series of related events or actions

contention n. a situation in which you have a chance to win something that you are trying to win

tourism n. the activity of traveling to a place for pleasure

responsibility n. a duty or task that you are required or expected to do

版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏公网安备 32010202011039号苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台