Is Venice Sinking?

Is Venice Sinking?

Avinash Uppuluri, Author

 Is Venice Sinking?

By: Avinash Uppuluri


     Venice, the city on water. Where roads are canals and cars are canoes. Home to the famous merchant Marco Polo. A fundamental tourist site that leaves everybody with amazement and magnificence. Last summer I was one of these tourists, and may be one of the last. This is because Venice itself may sink. The research shows that Venice could be underwater by the year 2100, if global warming acceleration isn’t curbed. This article is an insight into why this is happening, and what humanity can do to fix this.

REASON #1:The Water Beneath The Ground

     In the North, Venice is sinking at a rate of .08 to .12 inches a year. In the South, it is sinking at a faster rate which is .12 to .16 inches. When scientists first realized this, they pumped water underneath the ground. This created ground compaction, and ultimately, the tilting subsided. This pump was then discontinued, because the research showed that Venice stopped sinking. Now that Venice is sinking again, the problem could be as simple as starting to pump water underneath the ground again.













REASON #2: Cruise Ships

     Tourism plays an influential function in Venice’s economy, and cruise ships are a big part of the tourism industry. Venice’s cruise ship industry had developed 439 percent in the last 15 years. The cruise ship market is the fastest growing industry in the leisure travel market. This growth is a massive boost in Venice’s economy and makes them an even more popular tourist destination. While this is good for the economy, it is horrible for Venice itself. Cruise ships create massive water displacement, which canals cannot support. This generates floods, which cover the Venice mainland. Massive floods have transpired recently, and it wouldn’t be a surprise that cruise ships are the source of these floods. The question then becomes one of morals and loyalties. This is because it wouldn’t be right to disrupt the livelihood, and income of a whole industry.  In Venice alone, there were 3,000 people who depended on and worked for cruise lines. A movement against cruise ships would take away their livelihood, and create disruption in Venice’s economy, which would economically affect even more Venetians. However, is the economic well-being of current Venetians, worth Venice itself sinking? This is the question that is at the heart of the debate. Venice is a popular tourist destination, but more than that, it is an unique escapade that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

REASON #3: Climate Change

     While Climate Change is a broad topic and there are so many  forms, it has a major impact on Venice and other coastal cities. This is a problem that affects the entire world and it is projected that other coastal cities will also be underwater.

Credits: NASA, Global Climate Change









This is a graph of  sea-level change starting from 1880 until present-day. This graph shows the steep exponential growth of sea levels on this Earth. There are three main reasons for this increase. Firstly, ice forms such as glaciers and ice sheets are melting, which increases the amount of water in the ocean. Secondly, the water is warming and this causes it to be less dense and spread out. This effectively expands the ocean. The last, and least influential factor to sea level rise, is the shift of liquid water on land to oceans due to groundwater pumping. Some examples of these bodies of water are reservoirs, rivers, and lakes.

Article Sources


  1. NASA Global Climate Change. “Sea Level | NASA Global Climate Change.” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet, 19 Mar. 2020, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.
  2. Dickerson, John. “Climate Change Blamed for Higher Tides, Creating Uncertainty for Venice’s Canals – 60 Minutes.” Cbsnews.Com, 13 Jan. 2020, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.
  3. ‌“Climate Change: Global Sea Level | NOAA Climate.Gov.” Climate.Gov, 2019, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.
  4. ‌Barbie Latza Nadeau. “Are Cruise Ships Damaging Venice?” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast, 31 Oct. 2012, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.
  5. ‌Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. “2019 FCCA Cruise Industry Overview.” Issuu, Apr. 2019, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.
  6. “File:Thermal Expansion Cartoon.Jpg – Wikimedia Commons.” Wikimedia.Org, 13 June 2016, Accessed 27 Apr. 2020.‌