August was on record course in Germany – in several disciplines. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the high temperature, the number of hours of sunshine and the degree of drought stand out.

According to initial evaluations, August 2022 was the second hottest after the record month in 2003 since records began in 1881. The approximately 2000 measuring stations reported an average temperature of 20.3 degrees Celsius (°C) for Germany. That is 3.8 degrees more than in the internationally valid reference period from 1961 to 1990 according to the German Weather Service, and 2.3 degrees more than in the warmer comparison period from 1991 to 2020.

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August 2022 is also hot on the heels of 2003 in terms of the number of hours of sunshine: around 270 hours of sun shone on Germany last month, compared to 277 in 2003. That is around 30 percent more than in the years 1991 to 2020. Most of the sun – more than 300 hours – got the Rhein-Main region.

Dryland Germany   The sun was plentiful and there was too little precipitation. Much too little. It rained particularly little in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. In the latter, due to the extremely low water level in the Rhine, the Mouse Tower on an island near Bingen Mitte could be reached on foot.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, which reported the warmest August on record at an average temperature of 20.5 degrees and the driest August at just over 15 l/m², the water level at the Emmerich gauge fell to a new historic low of zero centimetres. The Rhine had been drained in places down to the fairway, which had serious consequences for inland navigation.

In Hesse, August was even the hottest since weather records began – and the second driest. Berlin was the second warmest region in August 2022, with an average of 21.6 degrees. Almost 230 hours of sunshine make the capital region the federal state with the least sunshine. Just a first taste?

The entire summer of 2022 broke many heat and drought records, as reported. “The summer balance of the German weather service shows again that the world and Germany are in the midst of climate change,” Fred Hattermann, hydrologist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) told the Tagesspiegel. For climate researchers it is clear that the exceptionally hot summer of 2022 is only a foretaste of what is to come as a result of global warming. According to forecasts based on model scenarios by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and calculations by Berkeley University, it will rise by an annual average of 4.6 °C in Germany up to the year 2100 if emissions in Germany remain at the current level. If they continue to rise, it would even get an average of 6.5 °C warmer in Germany. Even if CO2 emissions in Germany drop sharply from now on, it will probably still get an average of 3.1 warmer in Germany by 2100. Since the fluctuations Summers are often stronger than winters, so this August really was a foretaste of the climate of the future – a fairly mild one at that.

The graphic above shows the path we are on worldwide. It shows the monthly average, the annual average and the usual 30-year metereological average. According to this, the earth has already warmed by at least 1 degree, but that is only the 30-year average. According to evaluations by the University of Berkeley, current values ​​suggest that the world has already warmed by 1.3 degrees.