Summery spring spoils Germany with sunshine

After a bitterly long winter in Germany, the spring season has been “unusually summery,” meteorologists from the German Weather Service (DWD) reported on Thursday.

Summery spring spoils Germany with sunshine
Photo: DPA

With approximately 547 hours of sunshine, this year’s spring exceeded the average of 459 hours of light-induced happiness by 19 percent, the DWD said.

The north and east got the most light during this period between March and May, which was also warmer than any other spring on record since 1891.

The month of April was 4.4 degrees Celsius warmer than usual, while the entire three months were 2.1 degrees warmer.

The capital city of Berlin, accustomed to basking in the light of its own hip self-reflection, actually gave the cool kids a valid reason to don their Ray Bans this spring. It was the warmest city across the nation with an average of 13.5 degrees Celsius – compared to an average of 11.1 degrees.

All the sunshine caused a rain deficit, though. With just 180 litres of rain per square metre this spring, Mother Nature left German flora and fauna six litres short on refreshment – though gardeners and asparagus farmers were perhaps the only ones complaining.

The DWD takes data at some 2,100 different weather stations across the nation.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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German city residents sue government over air pollution

Seven residents in Germany are taking the government to court over the poor air quality around their homes, an organisation representing them said on Monday.

German city residents sue government over air pollution

The residents of Berlin, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich believe current government legislation is “demonstrably inadequate to protect people’s health”, according to the organisation, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH).

Levels of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in Germany are up to five times higher than the safe levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to DUH.

The complainants are calling for immediate action to bring about “a reduction in dangerous air pollutants from, among other things, traffic, wood burning and agriculture”, said Juergen Resch, national director of DUH.

“Politicians are doing too little to protect people like me who live on a busy road,” said complainant Volker Becker-Battaglia, from Munich.

This time last year, a new coalition government was elected in Germany on a promise to make environmental concerns one of its top priorities.

READ ALSO: Germany should ditch Christmas lights this year, says environmental group

The Greens entered power for the first time in more than two decades, promising that Germany would end coal power and generate 80 percent of electricity from renewables by 2030.

But since then, climate concerns have been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, an acute energy crisis and record inflation.

Germany has accelerated plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) by sea and has even decided to reactivate mothballed coal-fired power plants.

In 2021, climate activists won a landmark victory in Germany when the constitutional court ruled that the government’s climate plans were insufficient and placed an unfair burden on future generations.

German environmental groups also last year announced a legal offensive against car giants Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW over their emissions.