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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Can We Save Venice?
26 September 2013 9:00 am
You may have heard that Venice, Italy, is sinking—but it turns out the story is more complicated. Researchers have combined data from two different kinds of satellites to create a new map of Venice that shows, down to the 50-meter scale, which parts of the city are sinking and which are actually rising. What’s more, they’re able to differentiate between changes caused by humans and the unavoidable effects of Mother Nature, they report online today in Scientific Reports. In the map above, the red squares indicate places where human activity, including the settling of old buildings and even heavy boat traffic in the canals, is causing city blocks to sink. The green squares, meanwhile, show areas where humans have managed to prop their city back up through restoration efforts … at least for now. Natural movement of the marshy land beneath the city still causes the historic center to sink by an average of 1 millimeter per year. Combined with rising sea levels, scientists estimate that Venice could sink another 53 centimeters by 2100, leading to at least a fivefold increase in the “acqua alta” events that routinely flood downtown.