PORTO TOLLE, Italy — Drought and unusually hot weather have raised the salinity in Italy’s largest delta, where the mighty Po River feeds into the Adriatic Sea south of Venice, and it’s killing rice fields along with the shellfish that are a key ingredient in one of Italy’s culinary specialties: spaghetti with clams.

At least one-third of the stock of prized double-valve clams raised in the Po Delta have died off. Plants along the banks of the Po River are wilting as they drink in water from increasingly salty aquifers and secondary waterways have dried up, shrinking amphibians and birds’ wetland homes.


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