Rising sea levels could flood cities including Venice, Rhodes, and Pisa – destroying historic buildings and monuments, according to the study of the Mediterranean.
The iconic nature of structures like the Leaning Tower of Pisa should be used to promote awareness of the need for combating climate change, they say.
That equates to a one percent chance in “any given year” – from now, said the researchers. All would appear on anyone’s bucket list. And 42 face the same threat of coastal erosion that could cause the priceless landmarks to topple into the ocean – rising to 46 under a worst-case scenario.
Venice and its lagoon are among those most endangered along with the world-famous Piazza del Duomo in Pisa and the Medieval City of Rhodes.
Corresponding author Dr Lena Reimann, of Kiel University in Germany, said: “UNESCO World Heritage sites (WHS) located in coastal areas are increasingly at risk from coastal hazards due to sea-level rise.”
Over the next eight decades, flood and erosion risk may increase by 50 and 13 percent, respectively, across the region. This could be “considerably higher” on an individual level. Italy is most at risk with 13 of its sites (87 percent) under threat, followed by Croatia with six and Greece with three.