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Why one in every 10 people worldwide should worry about the flooding in Venice

Around 10 per cent of the world's population live in coastal zones at risk from rising sea levels. So what can be done?

By Bill McGuire  

Houses close to cliffs at Happisburgh. Large chunks of the sandy cliffs are regularly falling into the sea. Photo: PA

When it comes to the threat facing coastal cities from rising seas, Venice has a clear head start. Even at the best of times, it is, after all, half-submerged.

Straddling more than one hundred low-lying islands clustered in a coastal lagoon, Venice has long been at risk due to storm surges and—as earlier this week—from unusually high tides, but increasingly dire predictions of rapid sea-level rise as the century…

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