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Rising Sea Level XV: San Michele Cemetery, Venice, Italy, 2007

Rising Sea Level XV: San Michele Cemetery, Venice, Italy, 2007

Venice: photographed in May 2006 and November 2006.

A 2009 study published in Climate Dynamics concluded:  “Relative sea level rise (RSLR) due to climate change and geodynamics represents the main threat for the survival of Venice.”  A more recent study questioned the net impact of climate change on the city given a predicted offset in decreased storm activity.  As this study concedes, however, “Predictions of such extreme and small-scale events are exceedingly challenging.”  The IPCC generally makes projections of climate change impacts for much larger areas than a specific city, and even that is subject to great uncertainty.

Venice is symbolic, even in the discourse of climate change.  It is an icon of western civilization, but also an icon of the transience of wealth and power.  Byron and other romantics constructed an image of romantic decay, which still dominates our view of the city.

Rising Sea Level VI: Venice, Italy, 2007

Rising Sea Level VI: Venice, Italy, 2007

Rising Sea Level XII: Venice, Italy, 2007

Rising Sea Level XII: Venice, Italy, 2007

Rising Sea Level III: Venice, Italy, 2006

Rising Sea Level III: Venice, Italy, 2006