Climate: Despite caprioles no all-clear

DWD balance: Although 2012 was not a record year, but still clearly too warm

Temperature deviations from the mean worldwide in winter 2012/2013 DWD
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Even the late, cold winter of this year brings no all-clear: the climate change continues. This is the key message of the annual climate press conference of the German Weather Service (DWD) in Berlin. Although short-term climatic fluctuations are currently overshooting the warming, they are almost stagnant. Nevertheless, the temperatures in 2012 were again significantly above the long-term average. In the longer term, however, it will continue to be warmer - and it will be noticeable in the future especially on hot summer nights and a stronger and longer pollen load Allergy sufferers, the experts say.

D rre in the Midwestern United States, a record minimum for Arctic sea ice cover in late summer and Hurricane Sandy with the storm surge in New York for 100 years. In 2012, the extreme weather events increased. And this went on in 2013: In the first half of January, a record heat prevailed in parts of Australia, followed shortly thereafter on the eastern coast for days of heavy rainfall with flooding. Meanwhile, in Europe, the spring was almost completely over, instead of Easter bells, there were snowmen in many places at Easter.

Natural influences superimpose climate change - but do not stop it

But despite these ups and downs, one trend remains stable: climate warming. Because even temporary cold spells or a few years without records are no reason for the all-clear, according to the DWD. Because the climate change must be considered in the long term. One can not expect the temperature rise to be as smooth and even as the increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Because the climate is subject to many interacting influences. In addition to solar radiation and volcanic eruptions, this also includes periodic climatic fluctuations such as El Nino and La Nina.

"All of these effects are superimposed on one another, so to speak, masking human-induced climate change - which is beyond any doubt, " explains Paul Becker, vice president of the German Weather Service (DWD) Therefore, we do not yet conclude what influences are currently determining for our climate, but we are convinced that in the long run, human influence will have the strongest effect, making it one of the most powerful The consequence is clear: Already today must be traded.

The global temperature will increase in the long term - despite the current slowdown DWD

2012: Not a record year but still too warm

ErdThe mean temperature has stagnated at a high level for about 15 years. Nevertheless, we do not have to rewrite the history of climate change, "emphasizes Becker. As he explains, while the years 2011 and 2012 did not set new temperature records worldwide, they nevertheless still ranked among the twelve with an annual average temperature increase of just under 0.5 degrees compared to the reference period 1961-1990 warmest years since 1880. Advertisement

In Germany, too, the mean temperature of 9.1 degrees Celsius ( C) in 2012 was once again clearly above the multi-year average of 8.2 C. The year 2012 was thus not a record year, but the 16th warmest since 1881. According to evaluations of the DWD 24 of the past 30 years were too warm in Germany. At the same time, nine of the ten warmest years of the meanwhile 132-year time series of the national weather service fell into these three decades.

One third of the summer nights over 25 C

According to DWD experts, it is already foreseeable today that the growing heat burden will impair the health of older people in particular. The sole consideration of climate impacts is often insufficient. It should also take into account the future social change. For example, the interplay of climate change and demographic trends is aggravating the heat problem.

The increase in temperature will not only be limited to the outdoor area, but will also affect indoor areas. The climate researchers have determined for the Upper Rhine Graben that today in an average year from May to September there are almost 15 percent of the average nighttime interior temperatures above 25 C. By the middle of the century it will already be 35 percent. The DWD has therefore extended its heat warning system by predicting the nighttime indoor temperatures. Becker: We will release these new heat warnings for the first time this summer. They can be subscribed to for free at

Change in bloom of grasses up to 2100 DWD

More problems for allergy sufferers

A changing population structure and higher life expectancy also led to the expectation that allergies in old age are increasingly becoming a burden. Already today between 10 and 15 percent of the population suffer from pollen allergies. As a result of climate change, plants in Germany are increasingly becoming indigenous, which were previously unrecognized and which may be unpleasant for the local allergic people. Ambrosia is the best known example. In order to know the future pollen load, you not only need to know what is flying, but also when - and how the allergy bumps are changing as a result of climate change. The DWD first examined this with Birke and Gr ser. These are among the main suppliers of hay fever, asthma and Co.

The result shows that birch leaves will move 13 days forward by the end of the century. Greaves will bloom about eight days earlier. In addition, however, the pollen season could at least extend backwards, at least for the birch. "The bad news for allergy sufferers is that they will have to fight with new types of pollen and have to live with an overall extended pollen season, " says Becker.

According to the DWD, just these few aspects mentioned above show just how explosive the expected changes for the people in our country can be. Therefore, research must consider more closely the interaction or counteraction of the consequences of climate change and the processes of social change. Becker: "Such interdisciplinary approaches must now be tackled. However, science relies on political backwind

(German Weather Service (DWD), 08.05.2013 - NPO)