W.How climate change will change Germany is shown by the projections of the German Weather Service. After that, the winters are more humid and warmer, the summers hotter and characterized by longer dry periods. Overall, there could be significantly more extreme weather events. While there is no land rains in summer, which keep the soil moist, there are less frequent, but heavy, heavy rain events; Meteorologists speak of this when there is precipitation of 25 liters per square meter per hour.
In the past few years they have already performed locally in the summer. A city like Offenbach was inundated by rain three times in the same place within five years. Entire districts can be under water within a few minutes.
Many cities have had hazard analyzes carried out: This can be used to reliably determine where, for example, more heat islands are forming. Important influencing factors are how densely a quarter is built up, how many parks and fresh air corridors there are. In North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, the analyzes in various cities showed that there are an above-average number of facilities for small children and old people in particularly affected areas.
So far, it has mainly been publicity campaigns that have pushed the municipalities forward when it comes to heat; this includes requests to ventilate and drink regularly. While new buildings are sometimes designed to be more resistant to heat and can absorb water through plants and cisterns, the adjustments to older housing stock are much more difficult to implement.
Check for climate adaptation
For certain parts of the city, special flood hazards have been identified in many places. Short-term forecasts of heavy rain are often subject to strong fluctuations. Within cities, there are different concepts for absorbing the heavy rainfall: For example, playgrounds are sometimes lowered to serve as reflux basins. In Copenhagen, due to the experience of flooding, the steps to the subway entrances have been increased.
So far, climate adaptation has mainly been with the municipalities. In North Rhine-Westphalia just a few days ago the black and yellow state government introduced an adaptation law: Among other things, the state office for nature, the environment and consumer protection is to initiate climate impact monitoring. A climate adaptation advisory board is to develop a country strategy. The promotion of municipal concepts is planned, as well as contact points for companies looking for solutions to get by with less water. According to the law in North Rhine-Westphalia, public planning projects must in future be reviewed with regard to the set goals.
High cost of trees
So far, in North Rhine-Westphalia, as in many other federal states, climate adaptation has been a voluntary task. This means that indebted cities that are under financial supervision are only allowed to take limited measures.
The example of city trees, many of which have been lost in recent years, shows that there are both short-term costs for new trees that should already have a certain size, but at the same time they have to be watered over many years in summer, which is high personnel expenditure is connected.
Both the ministries for the environment, the interior and the economy have launched federal programs to promote municipalities, some of which have been significantly oversubscribed. There are now temporary positions for climate adaptation managers in many places who are supposed to keep an overview of the cross-cutting issue. Almost all departments in an administration are affected.