31 Aug 2023, 13:28
Julian Wettengel

Germany had above average warm summers for 27 consecutive years – weather service

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s volatile 2023 summer weather was marked by heat peaks, extreme rainfall and above-average sunshine – with the temperature once again being significantly above the long-term average, said the National Meteorological Service (DWD). “For 27 years now, summers in Germany have been measured as too warm,” said DWD spokesperson Uwe Kirsche. “Once again, we can experience climate change live.” The average temperature in the summer of 2023 was 18.6 degrees Celsius (°C), 2.3 degrees above the international reference period 1961 to 1990 (16.3 °C).  It marked the 27th summer in a row that was too warm, said DWD. An exceptionally sunny June was followed by a July with extreme heat peaks and an “early autumn start” in August, said the weather service. The weather pattern was accompanied by increasing precipitation and slightly above-average sunshine duration.

The weather service report “underlines that we are in the midst of climate change”, said Fred Hattermann, hydrologist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). While the precipitation meant that the topsoil was replenished, the deeper soil layers remained unusually dry in many regions of Germany, especially in the east and south. “This year's precipitation cannot compensate for the precipitation deficit that has accumulated over the last few years,” said Hattermann.

Germany must adapt to battle the worst impacts of the effects of climate change, for example on health, the economy and water supply. A preliminary harvest assessment by the farmers’ association DBV said that this year’s weather patterns showed “the clearly palpable effects of climate change yet again” and would lead to a below-average grain harvest - but also benefitted autumn crops, such as sugar beet and corn. Last year was the sunniest and among the warmest years on record in Germany. Globally, this year has seen several records already, said the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Earth experienced its hottest July on record, sea ice was the lowest on record and, by August, for the fourth consecutive month, the global ocean surface temperature hit a record high.

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