Berlin – Heavy rain in Germany, life-threatening heat in other parts of the world – 48 degrees Celsius in Spain and 54 degrees Celsius in places in the USA. The weather is going crazy. Science has been warning of increasing damage in Germany as a result of the climate crisis for many years. She also knows the causes.
Dead and missing, collapsed houses and flooded cities – western Germany now experienced extreme rainfall. The storms were triggered by the so-called jet stream. This is a band of strong winds at a great height, which in our latitudes normally directs the low and high pressure areas over us. The jet stream is driven by the temperature differences between the North Pole and the equator.
But because the North Pole area has warmed up significantly faster than the equatorial area due to climate change, the temperature difference has become smaller. As a result, the propulsion of the Jetstream has weakened. This means that weather conditions can remain in one place for a long time and create extreme conditions. “The problem is not the weather itself, but that it persists for a long time,” says Peter Hoffmann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
The German Weather Service (DWD) justifies this with the fact that a low pressure area over western Germany has “seized up”. In the opposite case – when a high is “surrounded” by lows – extreme heat and drought occur.
The DWD expects more storms, extreme rainfalls and heat waves due to global warming – so “more extreme weather”. The local climate analyst, Florian Imbery, on the Berliner Zeitung: “It is difficult to establish a connection between a single, by definition extreme event and the climate. But the observed accumulation of such events can now be taken as an indication that the assumption of many climate researchers is correct. ”He added:“ This assumption is that extreme weather will increase with rising temperatures – in heavy rain as in the heat. ”According to Imbery the most recent heavy rain is “an incredibly extreme event that usually has a recurrence time of well over 100 years.”
Greta Thunberg warns of the increase in extreme weather
However, the German Weather Service gave the all-clear on Thursday. The extreme rainfall is over for the time being. The storm potential is sinking, said DWD meteorologist Marco Manitta. This also applies to Berlin and Brandenburg. However, there can be strong thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday. It cannot be ruled out that one or the other cellar will fill up locally. Roads washed away, as in parts of western Germany, are not to be expected.
In Germany and abroad, the events are viewed with concern. The climate activist Greta Thunberg warned on Thursday: The flood disaster is an indication of the increase in extreme weather events. The 18-year-old tweeted: “Deadly heat waves, floods, storms, forest fires, droughts, crop failures … this is not the new normal. We are at the very beginning of a climatic and ecological emergency, and extreme weather events will only become more frequent. “
The events show the force with which the consequences of climate change can hit us all.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze
The German climate activist Luisa Neubauer also criticized that these events were not linked to the climate crisis. “You can already talk about the flood without going into the clear connections between these extremes and the climate crisis.” But that ignores the science and produces an increasingly stronger climate crisis, she wrote on Twitter.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) wrote on Twitter: “Climate change has arrived in Germany. The events show the force with which the consequences of climate change can hit us all. “