Venetians and tourists wade through water almost waist-deep after the Italian city was hit by high tides this week, a strong southerly wind and heavy rain. More than 70% of
Venetians and tourists wade through water almost waist-deep after the Italian city was hit by high tides this week, a strong southerly wind and heavy rain. More than 70% of Venice was flooded, with water reaching 149cm above sea level. Tourists attempted to cross St Mark's Square, desperately trying to keep themselves and their belongings dry.
The floods that have devastated Italy over the past week could become even more severe in the future, threatening food production and destroying the country's natural beauty, experts warn.
In Venice water levels were receding after the city's sixth-worst flooding since records began in 1872.
Leading Italian meteorologist Mario Giuliacci said: "The Mediterranean has warmed up by 1C to 1.5C in the last 20 years, meaning that Atlantic weather fronts passing over it absorb more vapour and more heat, which means more energy. And that means ever more violent storms and more rain when the fronts hit Italy.
"An average of 80mm of rain should fall in Italy in November. In the last 40 years it has gone over 100mm 11 times, seven of which are since 1999," he added.
However, a clear pattern of climate change is emerging, and affecting Italy's agricultural output, an official from Italy's farmer's lobby, Coldiretti, said.
Italy's wine harvest dropped 6% to a 40-year low, while the apple harvest was down by 22%, pears by 13%, chestnuts by 50% and honey by 25%. Production of flour destined for making pasta dropped by 12%.