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Human Factors, Extreme Events and Floods in the Lower Po Plain (Northern Italy) in the 16th Century

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Researches on climatic variations in the 16th century have stressed the exceptionality of extreme events, such as large and frequent floods, which are used as indicators of increased rainfall. The case of the lower Po basin, where lack of instrumental data renders the concept of exceptionality complex and relative, shows that this is not necessarily valid. There, various human factors determined a high environmental vulnerability. Since the lower Po Plain was a 'man-made' environment, past extreme events must be evaluated in strict relation with the territory's character. Thus the increase in floods constitutes a 'weak' indicator for an increase in rainfall.
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Keywords: River Po; climatic variation; floods; human interventions; sixteenth century

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 0.698. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.806.
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