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EUROPE AWASH June 9, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in EUROPE, Global Warming (climate change).

Summer seems to be the season for extreme weather events. The increasing frequency of such events suggests to casual observation that there might be a connection with climate change.

If so, it is very troubling indeed. The German Chancellor recently provided 100 million Euros to address damage caused by floods in Germany. I suppose there is a Keynesian multiplier here that may stimulate economic activity. Still there must be limits to such largess particularly in the age of austerity, whether or not, fiscal policy is well conceived. According to Der Speigel, The European Union has no money available for emergency aid due to austerity policies. If these climate events are due to climate change, it becomes more difficult to assess the engineering allowances, such that infrastructure can withstand the next extreme weather.

Associated Press, via The New Zealand Herald, reports on the latest state of play of the flooding in Europe:

The crest of the flood-swollen Danube River surged toward the Hungarian capital of Budapest, while communities along the Elbe in Germany braced for high water as the river churned toward the North Sea.

Elsewhere in central Europe, communities were beginning to count the cost of devastating floods that have hit Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

At least 19 people have died over the past week, and experts say the economic damage in Germany alone could top 11 billion euros.

The Danube’s crest left Austria on Friday and entered Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that water levels were above the all-time highs.

“It is now certain that we will face the largest-ever flood on the Danube, so we must be prepared for the worst,” Orban said Gyor, a western city on the Danube.

The crest was expected to reach Budapest on Monday, and Mayor Istvan Tarlos said in a worst-case scenario up to 55,000 people may need to be evacuated.

But he was confident that only the lowest-lying areas of the city would be exposed to the Danube’s surge.

The report noted that the Elbe was surging northward leaving flooding in it’s wake.

According to Euractiv, the European Environmental Agency has no doubt as to the causes. They are expecting repeat of the widespread flooding in future years. The EEA has issued a statement, <em>Flood Risk in Europe – the Long-term Outlook. The article further observes:

The EEA sees this as part of a trajectory of ever-increasing extreme weather events and natural disasters since the 1980s. It refers to the growing costs associated with tackling extreme weather events caused by climate change.

. . .

But the EU body concedes that it needs more and better data to be scientifically certain of the role climate change has played. “To confirm the exact role played by climate change in flooding trends in past decades, it would be necessary to have more reliable, long-time series data for rivers with a natural flow regime.”

None of these events is likely to register in the upcoming Australian Election, but it would appear that the Europeans are going to intensify there efforts to strike at the trigger mechanism of climate change – greenhouse gas emissions.

EuroNews reports, but does not mention Climate Change:

UPDATE: 10 June 2013

Deutsche Welle reports:


Some 70,000 firemen, 11,000 soldiers and an immense number of volunteers are fighting the floodwaters. In Magdeburg, the capital of Saxony-Anhalt, the Elbe River has reached its highest point ever in the 1,200 year history of the city. Tens of thousands of people were called upon to leave their homes in Germany’s east and south.




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