The area around Frankfurt was among the warmest in Germany this summer. (Photo: Source: Shutterstock/WeatherOnline)
With an average temperature of just over 19 degrees, this year’s summer in Germany is about 3 degrees warmer than the average climate from 1961 to 1990. It was similarly warm only in 2018, 2019 and 2003. With an average of 22 degrees, it was in the Rhine – the main warmest region. In large parts of the country, there was also much less than average precipitation. “We can look back at a very harsh summer in many ways. With only short interruptions, the same weather conditions were repeated over and over again: with the south wind, hot, dry air flowed to the far north in batches. 40 degrees were measured even in London and Hamburg – It hasn’t been that far north since Europe’s weather records began. The drought that hit Europe this year also set new standards in terms of extent and severity. No similar event can be found in the last 500 years,” summarizes Bjorn Goldhausen, meteorologist and spokesperson for WetterOnline. .
Heat waves affected by climate change
Climate change is partly responsible for the extreme weather conditions in Europe. Studies now suggest a clear relationship, especially with heat waves. Accordingly, in a warmer world, the occurrence of heat waves is becoming more likely and the intensity of heat is also increasing. However, it is not so easy with dehydration. “Drought is a very complex phenomenon and hence it is difficult to release scientific data. Land and water use are key factors here, along with climate change, for example,” Goldhausen says.
Forest fires at record levels
One consequence of drought is the increased risk of wildfires. In Germany this summer, more than 4,000 hectares of land have already burned more than they did in a record 2018 year. Spain, France and Hungary also reported new record numbers of wildfires. However, the question of the association with climate change cannot be answered here unequivocally, since the human factor has a significant impact on the development of fires through forest management and fire lighting. At the same time, heat and long droughts also ensure that the risk of wildfires is constantly high. This means that fires can spread faster than moderately wet weather.
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