Is climate change to blame for the floods in Germany? As the number of extreme weather events rises, fears grow.
As most of Western Europe has been pounded by torrential rainfall, Germany has suffered devastating floods that have killed at least 58 people and left scores more missing. Are the floods in Germany, however, the result of climate change?
As Germany suffers at the sight of ruined buildings, upturned automobiles, and stranded individuals, weather experts say the rain seen in the region over the last 24 hours has been exceptional. A near-stationary low-pressure weather system is blamed for the bad weather, which also delivered heavy rains to the west of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her shock and anguish at the floods, saying she “grieves” for those who have perished in the “tragedy.”
While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the flooding, climate change is clearly a factor.
Svenja Schulze, Germany’s federal environment minister, tweeted, “Climate change has arrived in Germany.”
North Rhine-environment Westphalia’s official, Bernd Mehlig, told reporters that the condition was only witnessed in the dead of winter.
“Something like this, with this intensity, is extremely unprecedented in summer,” Mr Mehlig said.
The weather system dumped 148 litres of rain per square metre in 48 hours in a region of Germany where the average monthly rainfall is 80 litres.
Armin Laschet, the German Conservative candidate for Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia to successor Chancellor Merkel, blamed the occurrences on global warming and climate change.
“We will be faced with similar occurrences over and over,” he said during a visit to the area, “and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures on European, federal, and global levels, because climate change isn’t isolated to one state.”
Climate change, along with all things environmental, is a major subject in Mr. Laschet’s election campaign.
Extreme weather occurrences are becoming more common over the world, especially in regions and territories that were previously considered to be relatively temperate.
The environment has already been affected by global climate change.
Glaciers have receded, ice on rivers and lakes has broken up earlier than expected, plant and animal ranges have altered, and trees are flowering earlier than usual.
“Brinkwire Summary News” reports on effects that experts projected would occur as a result of global climate change in the past.