02 Jan 2024, 13:05
Carolina Kyllmann

2023 hottest year on record in Germany – meteorological service

Clean Energy Wire

2023 marked Germany's hottest year since records began in 1881, according to preliminary analyses by meteorological service DWD. The year's average temperature reached 10.6 degrees Celsius, 1.3°C higher than the reference period 1991 to 2020. Previously, 2022 tied with 2018 for the warmest year on record in the country. "Climate change continues unabated. We need to take intensive action to protect the climate and adapt to the damage caused by extreme weather events," Tobias Fuchs, climate and environment director or DWD, said. Unlike previous warm years often characterised by heatwaves and drought, precipitation levels in 2023 were around 20 percent higher than the 1991 to 2020 reference period, making it the sixth wettest year on record. "With the exception of February, May, June and September, there was excess precipitation in all other months of the year," DWD wrote in a press release. The highest temperature recorded in Germany during the past year was 38.8°C in Möhrendorf-Kleinseebach in central Franconia on 15 July, while the lowest, at -18.9°C, occurred on December 3 in Gottfrieding in Lower Bavaria.

Extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts and floods have underlined the urgent need to prepare the country for the worsening effects of climate change. Germany introduced its first national heat protection plan in 2023 with the aim of halving excess mortality linked to high temperatures. The government also elevated its climate adaptation efforts, making it legally binding for the federal, state and local authorities to address climate risks and develop appropriate strategies. Globally, 2023 was recognised as the hottest year since the start of weather data collection.

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