Violent weather expected amid climate change
Germany can expect significantly more violent weather in the coming years due to climate change, according to a new study from the Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam.
According to the report seen by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, severe storms will hit the country every ten years on average, instead of the current average of 50 years.
Storm damage will increase by more than 50 percent by 2100 and heat waves and floods will also increase in severity, according to the study, which was produced in cooperation with universities in Berlin and Cologne.
The report is especially alarming to the insurance industry because of high payouts they may have to make as severe weather increases. That means premiums are likely to rise for insurance customers.
“For a long time, Germans have seen the consequences of climate change only in foreign countries," the head of the Association of German Insurers (GDV), Rolf-Peter Hoenen told Rundschau. "Those days are over."
Of particular concern, said PIK researcher Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe, are the big floods that will hit the country about two to three times more often in the coming years, he told Frankfurter Rundschau.
“It is no longer acceptable that development is still taking place in flood planes,” he said.
Europe has been hit by repeated bouts of severe weather over the last few years amid fears that global warming was stoking violent storms around the world.
Among the most severe was Kyrill, a 2007 winter storm that killed 47 people across Germany and Europe.
But much of Germany also sweltered under atypically hot temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for several days last summer.