Climate change impacts in Germany

Climate change impacts in Germany - what the IPCC 4th Assessment Report has found:
  • 4 deciduous tree species leaf-unfold and leaf- colour 1.1 to 2.3 days longer per decade (1951-2000) [1.3.5.1].
  • 10 spring phases (flowering, leaf-unfolding) 1.6 days/decade earlier (1951-2000) [1.3.5.1].
  • Alpine summit vegetation elevational shift, increased species richness on mountain tops (due to increased temperature) [1.3.5.2].
  • English Holly (Ilex aquifolium) poleward shift of northern margin due to increasing winter temperatures [1.3.5.2].
  • Phenology: Advance of stem elongation for winter rye (10 days) and emergence for maize (12 days) (1961-2000) [1.3.6.1]
  • Phenology: Advance in cherry tree flowering (0.9 days/10 years), apple tree flowering (1.1 days/10 years) in response (-5 days/°C) to March/April temperature increase
    1951- 2000 [1.3.6.1]
  • Phenology: Advance in beginning of growing season of fruit trees (2.3 days/10 years), cherry tree blossom (2.0 days/10 years), apple tree blossom (2.2 days/ 10 years) in agreement with 1.4°C annual air temperature increase 1961- 1990 [1.3.6.1].
  • In some river basins, e.g. the Elbe river basin, increasing flood risk drives strengthening of flood protection systems by structural means, with detrimental effects to riparian and aquatic ecosystems [3.2].
  • The Alps could be one of the regions most affected by increase in year-to-year variability in summer climates and thus a higher incidence of heat waves and droughts. Mediterranean droughts would start earlier in the year and last longer [12.3.1.2.].
 / ©: Bernd Lammel
The Elbe river near Dessau, Germany.
© Bernd Lammel

WWF contact

  • Regine Guenther

    Head of Climate Change

    WWF Germany,
    Frankfurt am Main

    +49 30 308742 ext 18

Climate Witnesses

People observing climate change and supporting climate solutions in Germany:

  • Dr. Georg Sperber is a German forester and has documented the dramatic consequences of warmer temperatures for spruce trees in the “Steigerwald” forest in Bavaria. These trees are the backbone of the German forest industry, and they are suffering more and more from bark beetle attacks, putting the forest industry at risk.

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