Between Tuesday, July 13, and Thursday, July 15, 2021, more than about twice the amount of rainfall expected for the entire month of July fell in parts of the western German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia - causing major rivers to burst their banks and sweep away entire villages.
Studies will need to be done to determine whether or not these floods would have taken place without climate change. But scientists say it is safe to assume that it wouldn’t have rained so much, for so long, without the warming of the planet. Warmer air can hold more moisture and Germany’s average temperature has risen by more than 2°C over pre-industrial times. The effects of climate change, which for people in Central Europe only had an impact on faraway countries, has now also arrived in Germany.
Joint project of Arne Piepke, Maximlian Mann, Aliona Kardash, Fabian Ritter and Ingmar Björn Nolting