Germany is faced with serious climate challenge

Германия столкнулась с серьезным климатическим вызовом

In the spring the country is struggling with one of the largest droughts in its history.

Level even the largest of rivers is a record low, making it difficult to navigate and leads to extremely large losses in the economy, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the news of the world.

German media talk about the new island on lake Constance, as well as millions of dead fish resting on the banks of dry rivers. It is the result of a severe drought that intensified in the spring and is still ongoing.

According to the latest German climatologists and hydrologists, drought already covers 90 percent of the area. The level of rivers and lakes fell to a historic low. Therefore inland navigation is nearly extinct, with the result that the economy is losing billions of euros.

On the Elbe river, the third longest river in Germany, because of the numerous shoals, with the beginning of the summer barges and ships do not sail in the area between Magdeburg and the border with the Czech Republic. Worst – in the direction of Leipzig, where the ban was introduced even for small boats, as the water level does not exceed half a meter.

Other small rivers the intensity of shipping has increased because they have taken on some of the goods and due to low water only smaller quantities of goods can be transported with more frequent deliveries. Therefore, the prices for freight transport have risen, which has led to bankruptcy of some companies who are forced to transport their goods on the river. This has led to higher prices of gas and fuel. The Ministry of economy of Germany took the extraordinary decision to allow access to strategic fuel reserves in regions where because of the drought, the supply of fuel has been reduced. In the cold winter, the situation may end in disaster due to the lack of fuel for heating.

On the border with the Czech Republic the lowest level in the Elbe over the last 100 years has identified the so-called hungry stones. The inscriptions on them were supposed to warn of hunger.

The oldest dates refer to the year 1616. On one of the large boulders has been exposed to an ominous inscription: “When you see me cry”. Every time when the stones were visible, residents had to prepare for the drought which deprived them of food and drinking water.

However, the drought primarily affects agriculture. Instead of the nearly 50 million tons of grain, as it was last year, this year it collected a total of 35 million tons. This means a shortage of feed for livestock.

Long-term forecasts indicate a wet winter, but it should be noted that it is also the driest period throughout the year. The lack of rainfall and low snow cover will lead to continued drought and in the next year.

Meanwhile, climate scientists are sounding the alarm because, according to them, along with progressive climate change, such situation will be repeated more often. It means drought and floods alternately, more often than ever before.

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