Extreme Weather in Europe - How Well Prepared are We?
One of the tangible effects of climate change in central Europe will be the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Long periods of heat, devastating storms and flooding are just three examples. Confronting them poses a big challenge for society and scientists. So what impact will it have on our lives when extreme weather becomes the norm? How well prepared are we? Summer 2003: Western Europe experienced a powerful heat wave. Around 70,000 people died, 7,000 of them in Germany and 15,000 in France. A taste of things to come. At the same time, the "once-in-a-century" floods of recent years suggest a potential trend: particular weather factors could cause more frequent flooding. "Extreme Weather in Europe" presents what scientists know about weather trends and what governments, authorities, municipalities and aid organizations are doing to adjust and prepare. Farmers in Brandenburg are improving their dry soils by under sowing and planting crops less susceptible to dry conditions. Flood protection measures are being overhauled on the Oder and Elbe rivers as well as along the North Sea coast. Scientists in Toulouse are working on prediction models designed to lessen the impacts of storms.