Climatic Change

, Volume 113, Issue 3–4, pp 1081–1087 | Cite as

Comment on “Storm surge frequency reduction in Venice under climate change” by Troccoli et al.

  • G. JordàEmail author
  • D. Gomis
  • M. Marcos


Troccoli et al. (Climatic Change, published online 14th May, DOI:  10.1007/s10584-011-0093-x), analysed different projections from global climate models in order to assess the frequency of storm surges in Venice during the 21st century under a climate change context. They concluded that the frequency of storm surges would decrease by about 30%, and that this reduction would compensate the expected mean sea level rise. Their final statement was that “the frequency of extreme tides in Venice might largely remain unaltered”. Although we agree in the expected reduction of storm surges, we strongly disagree in their final conclusion. First, because the impact of storm surges not only depends on the number of extreme surge events, but also on their intensity, that was not explicitely addressed. Second, because their estimates of mean sea level change for the 21st century are largely underestimated, as they miss some of the components driving sea level variability. Using state-of-the-art estimates for the thermosteric, mass and tidal contributions we show that the flooding events in Venice are expected to dramatically increase in a climate change scenario.


Flooding Event Climate Change Scenario Return Level Water Mass Addition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work has been carried out in the framework of the projects VANIMEDAT-2 (CTM2009-10163-C02-01, funded by the Spanish Marine Science and Technology Program and the E-Plan of the Spanish Government) and ESCENARIOS (funded by the Agencia Estatal de METeorología). Funding from the Platja de Palma Consortium is also acknowledged. M. Marcos acknowledges a “Ramon y Cajal” contract funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and G. Jordà acknowledges a “JAE-DOC” contract funded by the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).


  1. Calafat FM, Gomis D, Marcos M (2010) Comparison of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1961–2000 as given by a data reconstruction and a 3D model. Global Planet Change 68(3):175–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cazenave A, Llovel W (2010) Contemporary sea level rise. Annu Rev Mar Sci 2(1):145–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Church JA, Gregory JM, Huybrechts P, Kuhn M, Lambeck K, Nhuan MT, Qin D, Woodworth PL (2001) Changes in Sea Level. In: Houghton JT, Ding Y, Griggs DJ, Noguer M, Van der Linden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K, Johnson CA (eds) Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis: Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 639–694Google Scholar
  4. Domingues CM, Church JA, White NJ, Glecker PJ, Wijffels SE, Barker PM, Dunn JR (2008) Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea level rise. Nature 453:1090–1094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Giorgi F, Lionello P (2008) Climate change projections for the Mediterranean region. Glob Planet Chang 63:90–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Herrmann M, Somot S (2008) Relevance of ERA40 dynamical downscaling for modeling deep convection in the Mediterranean Sea. Geophys Res Lett 35(L04607):1–5Google Scholar
  7. Horton R, Herweijer C, Rosenzweig C, Liu J, Gornitz V, Ruane AC (2008) Sea level rise projections for current generation CGCMs based on the semi-empirical method. Geophys Res Lett 35:L02715. doi: 10.1029/2007GL032486 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. IPCC 2007: Climate Change 2008: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of the Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 996 ppGoogle Scholar
  9. Jordà G, Gomis D, Álvarez-Fanjul E, Somot S (2011) Atmospheric contribution to Mediterranean sea level variability under different climate change scenarios. Glob Planet Change, In pressGoogle Scholar
  10. Lionello P (2005) Extreme storm surges in the Gulf of Venice: present and future climate. In: Fletcher C, Spencer T (eds) Venice and its lagoon, state of knowledge. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  11. Lionello P, Dalan F, Elvini E (2002) Cyclones in the Mediterranean region: the present and the doubled CO2 climate scenarios. Clim Res 22:147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lionello P, Boldrin U, Giorgi F (2008) Future changes in cyclone climatology over Europe as inferred from a regional climate simulation. Clim Dyn 30:657–671. doi: 10.1007/s00382-007-0315-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marcos M, Tsimplis MN (2008) Comparison of results of AOGCMs in the Mediterranean Sea during the 21st century. J Geophys Res 113:C12028. doi: 10.1029/2008JC004820 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Marcos M, Jordà G, Gomis D, Pérez B (2011) Changes in storm surges in southern Europe during the 21st century. Glob Planet Chang 77:116–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nicholls RJ, Cazenave A (2010) Sea-level rise and its impact on Coastal zones. Science 328(5985):1517–1520. doi: 10.1126/science.1185782 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rahmstorf S (2007) A semi-empirical approach to projecting future sea-level rise. Science 315(5810):368–370. doi: 10.1126/science.1135456 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Somot S, Sevault F, Déqué M (2006) Transient climate change scenario simulation of the Mediterranean Sea for the twenty-first century using a high-resolution ocean circulation model. Clim Dyn 27:851–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Somot S, Sevault F, Déqué M, Crépon M (2008) 21st century climate change scenario for the Mediterranean using a coupled atmosphere–ocean regional climate model. Glob Planet Chang 63:112–126. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.10.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Troccoli A, Zambon F, Hodges KI and Marani M (2011) Storm surge frequency reduction in Venice under climate change. Climatic Change, published online 14th May, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0093-x
  20. Vermeer M, Rahmstorf S (2009) Global sea level linked to global temperature. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:21527–21532CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats (UIB-CSIC)EsporlesSpain

Personalised recommendations