Unusually early heatwave fans talk of climate crisis in Germany
Süddeutsche Zeitung / Clean Energy Wire
A heatwave with temperatures expected to rise to around 40° Celsius has fanned calls for more climate action in Germany, in an echo of last year’s extremely hot and dry summer. “In contrast to earlier extreme events, the experts’ judgement is clear: this is a sign of climate change,” writes Marlene Weiß in an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung entitled “In the oven.” The heatwave is unusual not only because of the extreme temperatures, but also because it arrives at the beginning of the summer, according to Weiß. Meterological forecasts say that heat records for the month of June could be broken across the country.
“This increase in heat extremes corresponds exactly to what was predicted by climate scientists as a consequence of global warming,” according to Stefan Rahmstorf, co-chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “Only a rapid reduction of fossil fuel use and a corresponding cut in CO2 emissions can prevent a disastrous further increase of weather extremes.”
Last year, a prolonged drought and record-breaking temperatures in August significantly increased public pressure for more climate action in Germany. Countless media reports invoked the extreme weather as a harbinger of the country’s future if governments – including Germany’s – fail to immediately curb carbon emissions. A large majority of the population said they believed the hot weather was a result of climate change.