In this post I cover a bit of a more serious topic than usually: extreme weather phenomena and my personal experience with them!
This year most of Europe experienced an extreme drought and heatwave. Starting in June, the precipitation was exceptionally low and the temperatures consistently warm. Not necessarily hotter than average, but certainly unusually warm with only few fluctuations. Due to the lack of rain over the course of a few weeks it started feeling very hot and uncomfortable (at least for me). Then it got even worse, with temperatures of up to 38°C in some parts of Germany, forest fires in large parts of Sweden and southern Europe and of course many heat-related deaths.
I read this article about the drought (it’s written in German) and I felt like it was well researched and contained some insightful diagrams!
In this article it is not only discussed how the extreme drought affected all of Europe this year, but also the connection with climate change and historic extreme weather phenomena. I will get back to climate change later on, but first let’s get to the past.
There have been extreme weather phenomena in the past due to different natural events like volcanic eruptions, but sometimes also just by chance. More deeply the article discusses the drought of 1540. There had been no rain between april and october and the temperatures rose to above 40°C during the summer months!! You can also learn more about it here (in English) and on the German wikipedia. I find those background information highly interesting and maybe you do, too!
Now let’s get to climate change. This year for me the drought hasn’t been the first extreme weather event. I was in Sweden for a holiday this winter and it was an exceptionally hard and cold winter, with several meters of snow in some places and up to -30°C. Some people even say it was the hardest winter in 30 years in Sweden. Back in Germany I experienced an unusually warm january with up to 15°C, but then snow and frost again in febuary and even march with temperatures below -5°C. All of this was closely followed by severe thunderstorms in april and may, which caused dangerous floodings in many parts of the country and even tornadoes – and then the drought started.
So looking at the course of this year, having an unusual winter, spring and summer and extreme weather conditions in every month, it is sure to say that this isn’t the norm. However blaming climate change for it is also not correct, as it is still unknown to which extend climate change impacts our daily/weekly/monthly weather. All we know so far is that extreme weather events have happened in the past and that the earth has been heating up since the industrial revolution. Climate change is definitely happening and there is no denying in this. All we can do is put more research into it, and try to reduce our own CO² footprint in our daily life. Eat less meat, use less plastic, cause less trash etc… The ways how we can do this are widely known so what is stopping us?
I know this blogpost has been quite unusual and not what I usually write about, so please let me know whether you liked it or not and of course please let me know your thoughts on the topic! 🙂