The rise in sea level will alter the morphology of the Italian coasts over the next 80 years. A recent study predicts that up to 5500 square kilometers of coastal plains could end up under water, revealing an Italy at the end of the century very different from the one we know.
The average sea level rose by about 15 cm from the eighteenth century to the present, and most of this change was recorded from the middle of the twentieth century. The recent report on global climate change has highlighted the risks caused by rising sea levels worldwide. Even limiting significantly the gases responsible for global warming emissions are expected to increase in sea level of 0.5 m during the twenty-first century, which could go up to a meter or more if no drastic action is taken by governments.
More than a billion people living near the coast would be forced to leave their homes and became the climate migrants.
It is estimated in Europe there are about 86 million people living within 10 km from the coast. In Italy, as in the rest of the Mediterranean region, 70% of the population lives in the coastal area, where rapid urbanization that began in the 60's led to an uncontrolled expansion of built-up areas. Italian shores are also home to major business establishments and are at the epicenter of thriving tourist activities. All these activities will be increasingly threatened by coastal erosion and the risk of flooding.