The Science of Saving Venice


For the first time, a book for the layperson based on reliable science.
For over 10 years, there has been violent argument in Italy about how to protect Venice from flooding, which has dangerously delayed important decision-making. Much of this debate has been based on an inadequate understanding of the complex issues involved, because scientific information has been only partially available to the public, and little has been explained in terms that the layperson can understand.
This easy-to-read book is the distillation of the current state of scientific knowledge about the nature and causes of the threat to Venice, and about proposed solutions. It is the fruit of a three-year research collaboration between Cambridge University and CORILA (Consortium for the Coordination of Research in to the Lagoon) instigated and financed by the Venice in Peril Fund. This culminated in the 2003 conference, held at Churchill College, Cambridge, that was attended by over 130 scientists from around the world. It reveals that the great majority of scientists believe Venice must have some sort of mobile barrier to protect it from extreme flooding events, but it also makes clear how many other factors are threatening the lagoon, and why the ecologists are right to be seriously worried about its health now. It ends by describing how climate change will force difficult decisions to be taken in the course of this century if our great grand-children are to enjoy this most beautiful creation of man.

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