27 Aug 2021, 13:33
Charlotte Nijhuis

Increased heavy rain will put pressure on civil protection forces – report

Clean Energy Wire

Heavy rainfall in Germany will become more frequent and more intense due to rising temperatures on earth, a new report by the German Weather Service (DWD) has concluded. The report, which was presented within the framework of the strategic alliance of authorities "Adaptation to Climate Change", adds that extreme weather events such as heavy rain are an enormous challenge for civil protection forces as well as urban and regional planning. Researchers have catalogued data on extreme precipitation events from 2001 to 2020. In a warmer environment, precipitation will fall more frequently as small-scale heavy rainfall than large-scale continuous rainfall; will affect a larger radius; and will be more intense, the report shows. The hazard posed by extreme rain is greater in communities located in valleys and highly urbanised areas and puts pressure on the mostly volunteer civil protection forces, it adds. “We need to limit the temperature rise that exacerbates precipitation extremes through climate action. At the same time, through adaptation measures, we need to build an infrastructure that can mitigate the damaging effects of heavy rainfall events, especially in urban regions," said Tobias Fuchs, climate and environment director of DWD.

Following the floods that killed over 180 people in Germany, politicians have called for investments in climate adaption measures to better prepare cities for extreme weather events in future. Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for more attention to be paid to adaptation, saying: “A comprehensive analysis is necessary of what needs to be adapted in flood protection, agriculture and forestry.”

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