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03 Jan 2022, 14:09
Edgar Meza

Germany saw mostly average weather in 2021, but hit by worst flood in decades

Clean Energy Wire

The weather in Germany last year may have been average overall, but severe rainfall in July led to the worst flooding in decades, with “catastrophic consequences”, according to Germany’s National Meteorological Service (DWD). The DWD also described 2021 as the 11th year in a row that was “too warm”. Describing the weather balance sheet as “ambiguous”, DWD climate director Tobias Fuchs said Germany was spared new temperature records while receiving sufficient rainfall for nearly all of the country, helping its drought-plagued forests to recover. “At the same time, 2021 was also the year of the worst flood disaster in decades -- triggered by extensive continuous rain and heavy precipitation,” Fuchs added. “We know that climate change has already contributed to this. This shows that we are experiencing the consequences of climate change live. Anyone of us can be affected by extreme weather conditions. Those who protect the climate protect themselves." Heavy snowfalls and extreme frosts in February gave way to warm temperatures in March, but that was followed by the coldest April in 40 years, the DWD stated. While June was the third warmest on record, the rest of the summer brought historically large heavy rainfalls in various regions, leading to devastating floods in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate. In assessing 2021 as the 11th year in a row that was too warm, noting that the average temperature was 9.1 degrees Celsius, 0.9 degrees above the value of the internationally valid reference period of 1961 to 1990. Compared to the more current and warmer period of 1991 to 2020, however, last year’s average temperature was down 0.2 degrees.

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) warned last year that unabated and strong climate change could make the whole of Germany “a hotspot for climate change risks” by the end of the century.

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