As Germany’s flooding takes hold, the media have been quick to seize upon the extreme weather as proof of the climate crisis. But the data show us that it’s normal bad weather that’s also been seen many times before in the past.
Yet, despite the widespread flooding, there are those who still believe that flooded north Germany is still suffering from severe to exceptional drought.
But the media have not wasted time in spinning the latest flooding as another sign of climate change. “Never have we seen such amount of rain in such a short period”, or, “it’s more proof the weather is getting increasingly extreme”.
All of it of course is just lots of click-baiting hype.
No significant rainfall trend since 1881
As retired professor Stefan Homburg pointed out at Twitter: “More rain than usual, but not a record. The number of heavy rain days was also within the normal range. Neither “droughts” nor “extreme weather” are recognizable in the official statistics. The difference between facts and political narratives is breathtaking.”
He presents two charts from the DWD German national weather service. The first is the total annual precipitation in millimeters since 1881.
The second chart shows the number of days with rally heavy rainfall each year. As readers will see, annual rainfall has in fact increased modestly, thus refuting claims Germany will get drier in the future, and extreme weather events as defined by very rainy days shows no real trend.
In other words, claims that the heavy rainfall over the past weeks is a sign of climate change is an absolute nothing-burger.
Drought is over, until the next one
Here where I live in northern Germany, I’ve been tracking monthly rainfall for about 3 and half years using a simple measurement cup from the local garden center. Here’s what I’ve recorded so far:
The chart clearly depicts how the months of October, November and December were very wet, with just under 500 mm of precipitation. This rain will more than compensate for the drought period seen earlier, especially in 2022.
Most of Germany at the moment is a soaked sponge.