2018 was not the hottest summer of all time. But an exceptionally dry. Therein meteorologists and meteorolog are inside United. In any other year since the beginning of weather records, there were so many summer days in which the rain stayed away almost completely.A high-pressure area was placed over weeks. The first snow lets hope the drought could be over. But this is not true. Currently, about 70 percent of the area of Germany are still too dry, especially the southern part of Rhineland-Palatinate, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. And so, farmers, Foresters, water suppliers and conservationists reported this fall, the most serious consequences of climate change that Germany has experienced so far:
All questions at a Glance: potatoes and onions are more expensive
sugar beet and cabbages: The crop before the Winter is at risk
In the forests of the spruce
not suffer from the internal ships that ride dry trails, drinking water is scarce, but it is more complicated to prepare
It is only the beginning
Germany will need to prepare
potatoes and onions are more expensive
with Just 28 liters of rain per square meter fell in October on German soil. This is only half as much as in the long-term average, as the German weather service (DWD) announced. What began in the spring, continues in the autumn: drought.
The drought is driving farmers and farmer to create. Some of the fields were in the summer of in fire or withered. In the result, the seed times have changed, and the first Harvests were drastically lower than normal. Many companies suffered financial losses, some of the dry summer ruined even. Since the other countries of Europe was similar, were not able to imports to compensate for the. Some vegetables is more expensive than 2017, albeit only slightly.
What vegetables are scarce, depends on who has what is grown when. Iceberg lettuce, for example, is at the Moment rare, because the salads are growing on large areas and need high temperatures, plenty of water. Also carrots this fall less than otherwise. Just like onions. The harvest in the EU after evaluation of the agricultural market information company (AMI) to around 15 per cent less than in the previous season. “Cause of the weather are due to lower revenues in almost all countries, with the exception of Spain,” – said in a statement. For the next few weeks, a price increase is to be expected. The same is true for potatoes, which are grown according to AMI by half more expensive. In addition, tubers land currently in the markets, which would have been weeded out because of their unsightly appearance in other years.
summer vegetables such as Zucchini, eggplant or tomatoes are not affected, because farmers produce up to 80 percent in greenhouses. Wine growers benefit from even this year’s conditions. According to the data of the Federal Statistical office as many grapes have been harvested since 1999. Also good for Apples, pears and other tree fruit.
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sugar beets and cabbages: The crop before the Winter is at risk
The burning sun at the same time, low relative humidity have resulted in many areas of Germany a day to almost unbearable evaporation rates, such as the German weather service (DWD) reported. “This has led, in the case of winter crops, particularly on light soils to a decrease in the soil moisture for irrigation the relevant threshold of 50 percent of the usable field capacity,” – said in a Report. For winter barley, which in some cases means a non-uniform growth; on the other fields, is completely unsure of what will sprout. Winter rapeseed thrives in many regions of Germany is good, however, some farmers have decided, for the safety of less sowing than in the previous year. It is similar to the winter wheat is Sown until the end of November, but because it continues to be dry, be afraid now crop failures.
winter affected are vegetables such as sugar beets or cabbage. According to an estimate by the Economic Association of sugar yield for sugar beet will fall by up to 18.7 percent compared to the annual average. In the case of head cabbage, the Institute of 15 per cent less.
unusual #phenological year 2018 comes to an end: The hazel bloomed 19 days earlier than in the middle 1992-2017, after a cold February and March, the Sal-Weide came up with a 10-day delay in the swing, Dryness and heat as of April resulted in early crop stages… pic.twitter.com/SRXR2TPRUK
— DWD climate and the environment (@DWD_klima) 20. November 2018,
so also the winter vegetables expensive and scarce? That you believe us, would Hans-Christoph Behr exclude from the AMI “for the first time, since we grow more than enough”. More expensive they would be at most a few cents, what will stand out consumers. Because the harvest is still ongoing, it remains to be seen how the yields for head cabbage, sugar beet and other seasonal products actually fail.
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In the forests of the spruce
suffer Not only Fields and forests have dried up. You, at 11.4 million acres, almost one third of the area of Germany. More than 90 billion trees are growing in this country, last year. Now, however, some of them under a lot of Stress.
An acute Problem: forest pests such as bark beetles that reproduce in warm, dry summers. The smell of a weakened or dead wood attracts insects. They eat through the bark, and destroy valuable nutrient pathways, which leads to the slow death of the tree. Mainly because of the water spruce with its shallow root system from the upper layers of the earth record, they are particularly of rain-dependent. The drought made it particularly vulnerable to the bark beetle infestation.
Foresters and foresters have cut down in the last few weeks an extraordinary number of spruce trees to sell to sawmills. In the trade for more wood as needed, which is why it is significantly cheaper. “Many foresters are to be provided by the bark beetle infestation prior to the election: you Want to your currentgen forest to maintain stock healthy, or rather cut down and new trees grow? The former is very expensive, the latter tax, said the spokesman of the German foresters, Jens Düring.
The Norway spruce, it has not caught as the only one. Some species of bark beetles infested Book. Since the pests spend the winter in the trees and the surrounding deadwood, recommends Düring the foresters to check out the rest of her trees, and stored logs. If the eggs of the beetle hatch in the next year, the threat of an even greater plague.
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barges on the roads
Because it has so little rain, the level in Germany’s rivers and canals so low that transport ships can travel only with less load to run without reason. Accordingly, the costs for the Transport of heavy goods, for example steel and car industry or the construction industry.
Annually transported on German inland waters 223 million tons of goods. A particularly important waterway: the Rhine. The results, however, in numerous Places currently, too little water, as the heavily loaded ships could pass. Many companies, some of it is cut off, therefore, at the Moment of the supply route.
So, the Shell Oil company had to send, for example, partial productions back in its refineries, since tankers could not be loaded due to the low water level. In the result of gasoline and Diesel were more expensive, some gas stations, the fuel went out.
On the Elbe river at Magdeburg, freight transport has been set. Since July, there was no Transport and also no larger excursion ships go there any more: at that Time the water was reduced in some Places to 70 inches – the minimum level for ships is a little more than one Meter. In August, the level fell to a record low of less than 50 centimeters. Since then, he has not risen significantly.
“at the moment, I don’t think that the Rhine or the Elbe recovers quickly. It has rained in the last few days,” said Stefan Kunze, head of the working group on inland navigation at the port of Hamburg. Currently, only a few waterways such as the Danube, the Elbe or the Rhine were affected, but judging by the current trends, further shortages could follow.
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drinking water is not scarce, but it is more complicated to prepare
Differently than the river water, the drinking water as a result of the long drought so far, but not close. About 70 percent of Germany’s drinking water comes from ground water. Because it is in the deeper layers of the earth, it is from the short-term weather unaffected. And: There is always more ground water than we need in Germany these days. Came to the bottlenecks it in some places last, because in a short period of time to a lot of drinking water was consumed. The pressure in the conduit system is decreased, which is why some of the tap remained dry.
For a future with more intense periods of drought, however, is relevant: The ground water is distributed in Germany uneven. Although climate models show that, in the future, more and more water in the soil available than in the past. This is not true in all regions, such as the online science magazine spektrum.de reported: “In Brandenburg, for example, will form in the year 2060, about 40 percent less groundwater, calculated the Ministry of environment in 2008.”
another important aspect is the cleanliness of the water. At dozens of locations in and around Berlin, for example, more water comes out as fresh water is removed, such as the daily mirror reported in August. To observe is also important in this Region, the sulfate quantities are because of salts in concrete can attack walls and pipes, is it in another article. Plants need to filter these and similar substances, increasingly, the treatment of drinking water more expensive.
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It is only the beginning
How to do it in the coming months? In the Winter, Europe was considered to be barely predictable, “the North Atlantic oscillation to chaotic,” writes the German weather service (DWD). Nevertheless, Meteorolog try and meteorologists with the German climate forecast system forecast of the routine time of year before.
The assumption: In the coming months, it will not rain enough in the dry summer to balance. “The forecasts are, however, in terms of rainfall rather imprecise,” says Kristina Cheerful, climate researcher at the DWD. “Our forecasts are based on statistics, for precise statements, we have unfortunately too little data.”
For the coming years and decades, climate researchers expect the inside with more hot days and heat waves in Germany. Now weather is not the same as climate, which is why for a long time the rule of thumb was that one could identify the Effect of climate change only in Trends but not single events. The period since weather records is just too short. How strong is the current drought phase is influenced in Europe by climate change, therefore currently not in Detail answer.
And that is still true. As backed up but also that such droughts occur due to global warming in the future, more frequent, longer, and more people will relate to than in the past. Also, science has learned here. In a new research field of attribution science, the questions scientists and researchers increasingly no longer only whether an event is the result of climate change, but above all, if a weather event could be in a world without global warming occurred (THE TIME, no 32/2018).
So it is today: climate change is no longer weather-disconnect. Also: climate change has contributed to this year’s exceptional drought.
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the impact of the current drought to prepare is unlikely to change anything. In the long term can set the foresters and farmers, but to a changing climate.
forests, for example, will in future have to be different reforested. At least in part. – Natural pine and spruce forests should be converted, for example, in the density and species-rich deciduous mixed forests. It is also Because there is no perfect forest must be closed for the optimal use of compromise (Nature Communications: Felipe-Lucia et al., 2018). Agriculture must adapt if they are to be profitable. How, exactly, is debated. What the agricultural scientists and researchers are already in agreement that There needs to be more diversity in the fields, so a Multi-cultural rather than mono-culture. A step-wise, change is part of a rich cultivation of two, three, four, or more different Crops, and intercropping or agroforestry systems, where trees grow alongside food crops. It is questionable the extent to which high-tech can solve in agriculture, the problems of climate change. Farmers can buy, of course, already today, new, more efficient irrigation systems and drought-damage insurance – but all of it must be paid. Here the government can help with subsidies. Ultimately, all of the climate will feel the consequences of the prices for vegetables, fruit and other food.
Many of these changes would not only prevent drought stress. Also mild winters, heat, and more frequent bare frost – minus degrees without the protective snow blanket forestry and agriculture, so much the better.
Everything to the drought in Germany, the causes and consequences, read on this page.
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