EGU23-10125, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Venice Lagoon foreshadows the fate of coastal systems under climate change and increasing human pressure.

Andrea D'Alpaos1, Alvise Finotello1, Davide Tognin1, Luca Carniello2, and Marco Marani2
Andrea D'Alpaos et al.
  • 1University of Padova, Department of Geosciences, Padova, Italy (
  • 2University of Padova, Department ICEA, Padova, Italy

Coastal systems are among the most economically valuable and highly threatened systems on Earth. They provide a wide range of valuable ecosystem services but are severely threatened by climate changes and increasing human pressure. We consider and analyze the Venice Lagoon as a paradigmatic case representative of the coevolution of man and landscape, of natural processes and human agency. The history and fate of Venice Lagoon, the largest brackish waterbody in the Mediterranean, are tightly intertwined with those of the City of Venice. We show, through an interdisciplinary approach combining field observations, remote sensing, laboratory analyses, and mathematical modeling, that increasing anthropogenic pressure, coupled with the effects of natural processes exacerbated by climate changes, has led to an accelerated morphological deterioration of the lagoon and of the related ecosystem services. We also provide new insights on the short- and long-term consequences of coastal flooding prevention measures, such as storm-surge barriers, which are being widely adopted globally because of the accelerating rise in sea levels. From this point of view, the Venice and Venice Lagoon issues are becoming the new paradigm of the conflicts arising from the interactions among economy, society, and the environment, the three main pillars of sustainable development, furthermore providing an indication of what fate has in store for coastal cities and ecosystems of the future.

How to cite: D'Alpaos, A., Finotello, A., Tognin, D., Carniello, L., and Marani, M.: The Venice Lagoon foreshadows the fate of coastal systems under climate change and increasing human pressure., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10125,, 2023.