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24 Sep 2020, 12:46
Julian Wettengel

Germany must prepare for more frequent and intensive extreme weather - meteorologists

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s national weather service has said that the country should prepare for more extreme weather as a result of global warming, as “the sometimes catastrophic consequences of storms, heat waves or heavy rainfall can affect almost all of us today. […] As climate change progresses, we must expect even more intensive and frequent extreme weather events in the future - also in Germany,” said Tobias Fuchs, head of climate and environment at the National Meteorological Service (DWD). “We should all prepare for that.” The annual average temperature has already risen about 1.6°C since 1881, nine out of ten of the warmest years since records began that year happened after the year 2000 and the intensity and frequency of heat waves has increased, he said. The DWD also published a paper on what scientists know for sure today about extreme weather in Germany.

In a reply to a parliamentary inquiry by the far-right populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the German government says that the advantages of climate change “are negligible compared to the disadvantages.” The expected damages to natural and human systems increase with the extent and speed of global warming, writes the government, adding that it sees the risk that its climate action measures cause more damage than climate change itself “out of the question”.

Extreme droughts and prolonged heat waves in 2018 and 2019 have significantly raised awareness of climate change dangers in Germany in the past years. And the changing weather patterns are also having a huge impact on the country's environment, as forests and rivers will likely change their appearance in a lasting way.

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