Sure, cheap Ryanair flights have made Venice, Italy, a hotbed for lobster-faced tourists posting Snapchat stories from gondolas, but visiting the historic city might require a snorkel if we keep on polluting the air. According to a new climate change report published in Quaternary International, Venice will be underwater within a century if flood defenses aren't installed and the acceleration of global warming isn't curbed.
The floating city could eventually go the way of Atlantis (if Atlantis were real and full of beautiful architecture and discarded selfie-sticks), because the Mediterranean Sea is forecasted to rise by up to 55 inches before 2100, according to the research. The rise in sea level is expected to swamp a 176 mile-long coastline along the west coast of Italy, thanks to greenhouse gas emissions.
"The subsequent loss of land will impact the environment and local infrastructures, suggesting land planners and decision makers [should] take into account these scenarios for cognizant coastal management," said the study's lead author, Fabrizio Antonioli. "Our method developed for the Italian coast can be applied worldwide in other coastal areas expected to be affected by marine ingression due to global climate change."
The research team believes that 33 areas across Italy are particularly at risk from the predicted rise. The report also found that sea levels rose by just 12.4 inches over the past millennium, which makes the predicted 55-inch rise over the next 100 years look pretty terrifying.