Saving Venice

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Science  25 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5483, pp. 1301-1302
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5483.1301

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This commentary considers how science and public policy relate to one another at a critical juncture in the effort to save Venice. Records for the last century show that flooding due to exceptionally high tides is a worsening phenomenon. As a solution, there are plans to build a system of mobile flood gates at the inlets to the Venetian lagoon. The authors consider previous impact studies to be flawed in light of new knowledge about the trend in relative sea level and the prospect of global warming. They conclude that the gate project will not pass the test of time.