Context: The recent flooding in Germany was caused by unprecedented rainfall, which is being referred to as the worst such event that the country has witnessed in nearly a century.
More in the news:
- One of the worst-hit villages in Germany was Schuld, where many homes collapsed and where authorities are still unable to locate several people.
- The extreme weather event comes in the same week that the European Union made the announcement to reduce 55 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.
- Before this, Germany was witness to extreme flooding in June 2013, which was one of the most severe large-scale flooding seen in the country in nearly six decades.
- Some other countries were also affected during this time including Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary among others.
The factor causing flooding:
- It was caused by a severe storm and continuous rains that caused rivers and streams to swell up and flood the towns and cities located alongside the banks of the river Ahr in Germany.
Impact of the flood:
- When the soil and the water bodies were no longer able to absorb the excess water;
- It spilt out wreaking havoc in nearby areas and causing damage to buildings, infrastructure, the environment and people’s belongings.
German flood and climate change:
- Like any singular extreme event, scientists have not reached a consensus and are not sure if the unprecedented rainfall seen in Germany can be linked to climate change.
- Even so, the number of record-breaking events that are being recorded across the globe are increasing such as:
- The western parts of the US and Canada experienced a historic heatwave.
- As a result of which maximum temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius in a Canadian village in British Columbia.
- The eastern part of the Amazon forests has turned into a source of carbon instead of a carbon sink in part.
- Due to the significant levels of deforestation that have taken place over the course of the last four decades.
More About Emission Gap Report 2020: UNEP