Rhine River could run too low again for shipping in Germany
Germany’s Rhine River could be impassable to ships again this summer if Europe has another drought, reports William Wilkes for Bloomberg. German and Swiss scientists say that heavy snowfalls in the alpine regions at the river’s source are no guard against a repeat of low river levels, which blocked a key choke-point in October. “Last year’s impasse was severe enough to dent German economic growth and underlines how even advanced economies are feeling the impact of global warming,” writes Wilkes.
The exceptionally dry weather last year led to very low water levels in Germany’s most important river, causing severe shipping interruptions that cut countless companies off from supplies. Chemical industry heavyweight BASF was forced to halt the production of plastics at one of its plants, for example.