The Race to Save St. Mark’s Basilica From Salty Floodwaters

As Venice faces a 4-foot sea level rise, the historic cathedral—and its marble—could succumb to damaging tides.

This story originally appeared on Atlas Obscura and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. 

As night fell over the northeastern Italian city of Venice on November 12, 2019, sirens wailed, signaling the arrival of a particularly high tide. At more than 4 feet above sea level, the city’s forecasting institute classed the tide as “exceptional,” but residents were prepared with electric pumps and steel barriers slotted into ground-floor doorways. As the night wore on, though, the tide rose far higher. Fierce winds and rain drove the water into the historic city, creating

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