29 Jan 2024, 14:40
Franca Quecke

Extreme weather events leave mark on parks and gardens across Germany – report

Clean Energy Wire / idw

The increase in extreme weather events is taking a toll on Germany’s urban green areas, a large-scale report by researchers from the Technical University Berlin has revealed. For the first time ever, the researchers determined climate-related damages to trees in a large portion of the country’s parks and public gardens. Analysing data sets from 62 parks in 11 federal states, they found that extreme weather in 2017, 2018 and 2019 caused broken branches, and collapsed, uprooted and took down trees. Damaged trees were found in all the parks surveyed, with the extent of damage varying from about 5 percent to almost 100 percent of the total surveyed tree population. According to the report, the effects of more and longer-lasting extreme weather might be seen as a consequence of climate change. 

"We have clearly noticed a deterioration in the state of the trees in recent years,” Norbert Kühn, lead author of the report, was cited as saying by the scientific information service idw. However, the severity of extreme weather effects varied according to location and plant species. “This shows that climate change must be taken seriously - but also that we should be careful not to expect the same problems everywhere," Kühn argued. Assessing the vitality of more than 157,000 trees in the parks and gardens, the researchers found that about 50 percent of them were either slightly to moderately affected and 9 percent were either severely affected or had already died off.

The state of Germany's forests has been a cause for concern for several years. A string of exceptionally hot and dry summers in the past years has inflicted great damage on woodlands estimated to range at about 15 billion euros. As part of its Forest Strategy 2050, Germany’s federal agriculture ministry (BMEL) is seeking to make the country’s forests more adaptable to global warming so that they continue to help balance the country’s CO2 emissions. In 2022, Germany’s construction ministry (BMWSB) also launched a programme to fund measures aimed at adapting cities and other urban areas to climate change effects, such as extreme heat, by maintaining and expanding public green spaces.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Sven Egenter

Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee