Climate change mitigation - Why care? (Germany)
- Climate change
Even the most stubborn sceptics can no longer deny that the climate is changing as a result of the man-exacerbated greenhouse effect. Observations over the past 100 years clearly show that the climate around the world has become warmer. Since the beginning of the 20th century the global annual average temperature has risen by 0.74 °C and the global average temperature has risen by 0.13 °C every decade over the last 50 years. By far the largest factor responsible for the increase in temperature observed since 1950 has been human activities from which considerable quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) have been released into the atmosphere.
In Germany alone the average air temperature increased by nearly 1 °C between 1901 and 2008 and the decade from 1990 to 1999 was the hottest in the course of the 20th century. Change can also be seen in rainfall patterns.
According to regional climate models climate in Germany is expected to see an increase in annual average temperatures of 1.5-3.5 °C by the end of this century compared to 1961-1990, together with a widespread reduction in summer rainfall, projected to be of a magnitude of 20-40 %. Unless appropriate adjustments are made, high summer temperatures combined with unusually low rainfall could lead to enormous problems in regions that are already experiencing droughts.