ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

Drought Earlier Than Usual in Southern Germany and Italy

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The month of April has been exceptionally warm, and there has been exceptionally little precipitation in Germany. The danger of forest fires is extremely high, barbecue stations in the forests around Stuttgart are being closed because the danger of accidentally starting a fire are too high. Generally, vegetation is about four weeks ahead of the average time for flowering. Personally, I was sleeping outside in a sleeping bag without using a tent in early April. I had never done this before. Die Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) has two articles relating to this topic in its issue from April 26th:

  • Italien ruft Wassernotstand aus“: Farmers in the valley of the river Po in northern Italy needed to start irrigating their fields in early April, about 4 weeks earlier than normal, leading to a water level in the river meters below the average. Additionally, water levels in Italy’s northern lakes (Lago di Garda, Lago di Como) are down as well. Decreased water levels in rivers are anticipated to decrease the output of power plants and hence power shortages are expected. The author expects that a state of emergency will be issued early next week if it doesn’t rain until then.
  • Die Angst vor der grossen Duerre“: This article paints a similar picture for southern Germany as for Italy: early beginning of irrigation, decreased yield of agricultural crops,

Written by Claus

April 28th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

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