Germany threatens extreme drought: researchers discover new weapon against climate change impacts

Forester complain about dying forests, farmers destroyed Crops, towns and cities in the whole of Germany is suffering from year to year, and Floods. The devasta

Germany threatens extreme drought: researchers discover new weapon against climate change impacts

Forester complain about dying forests, farmers destroyed Crops, towns and cities in the whole of Germany is suffering from year to year, and Floods. The devastating consequences of climate change, long-lasting heat and drought in many places is noticeable.

the rain no longer helps, however, in a long time. A look at the drought monitor at the Helmholtz centre for environmental research shows. This indicates, in which areas of Germany's strong there's drought. In particular in the deeper soil layers of up to 1.80 meters exceptional drought "is" noticeable.

UFZ-drought-monitor/ Helmholtz-centre for environmental research. Especially in East Germany, the exceptional drought currently"".

Because even if it is occasionally moistened rains and the soil, the deep soil layers remain dry. Currently, particularly in the East of Germany is affected by "exceptional drought," but the Monitor shows almost all over the country strong drought.

plants and trees fall into the dry stress

How dry the soil is also reflected in the plants and trees of the available water. These, so-called "available water capacity", is the research center that in many areas is dangerously low.

UFZ-drought-monitor/ Helmholtz-centre for environmental research. In the East and the West of Germany there is a lack of plant available water.

From a value of less than 50 percent of the plants are in drought stress, is the value at Zero, begin to wither you. The trees and plants in many Parts of Western Germany dry up so. Also in the East of the country, many plants are no longer able to extract water from the soil. The result: you begin to die. "Prospects" in FOCUS Online

FOCUS Online, we see not only problems but also solutions. We do not hide what is bad – but we also show what is done, and how each Individual can make a contribution. We give people and ideas that contribute to addressing the individual and societal challenges. To tell these particular stories, we have formed the K-Team. K is a Constructive one. All the items of the K-team can be found under the heading "perspectives".

water plants as a buffer against drought and Flooding

To counteract this, researchers are looking worldwide for solutions. Climate change relates to Germany only. A team of researchers from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium have discovered now, that aquatic plants are able independently to phases with high or low water to adjust levels. Thus, the water plants according to the scientists, to the buffer for impending Floods and drought.

the results of their research published in the British journal "Royal Society Publisihing": the Threat of a flood, will pushed the Vegetation to the side, or even displace, the water will have more space and could continue to flow. At low water the plants, however, clogged the river, and thus prevent that the water drains away too quickly.

The water plant could not, therefore, compensate for only the water level in rivers and streams, but also generated at the same time in Freshwater biological diversity.

  • recommended reading: Germany dried: To the forest to die away, it takes more than rain
On fields: CO2, bind and fertile soils

A Chance to defy the consequences of climate change, however, lies not only in the rivers, but also in the fields. Upon receipt of the fertile and nutrient-rich soils, the binding of CO2 from the atmosphere a major role. The show different approaches from the agriculture.

humus-rich soils can absorb water and store

To drought and drought on the Fields to prevent, is not it done so, drought-resistant crops to grow. Instead, the solution lies, according to the Federal environment and nature protection (BUND) in fertile soil more Humus. As the Humus, the whole of the dead organic matter of the soil is referred to.

" Against the drought, neither sprinkling to help, dry resistant varieties still in cultivation of energy plants", explained the agriculture officer of the FEDERAL government in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Burkhard Roloff. In contrast, only the continuous build-up of Humus help. "Humus-rich soils can absorb up to four times their own weight in water, longer to save, and clean, as well as longer time to provide it," explained Roloff.

And not only that. Humus not only saves water – it also binds CO2. It stores the contained in the air carbon in the soil, and deprives him of the atmosphere. The world is better than your bad news - FOCUS Online provides you every Friday with the best stories from the field perspectives. Subscribe here for free Newsletter:

stone dust tonnes could bind to CO2

And the farming even offers a further method to filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. British researchers at the University of Sheffield found out now that on Fields of distributed stone dust, large amounts of CO2 could bind. The results of their research they published in the scientific magazine "Nature".

This method scientists "Enhanced Rock Weathering to call", English: "Accelerated rock weathering." Behind the natural weathering stick of rock, properties of basalt. The contained therein minerals bind chemically to the CO2, which is absorbed by the rain water in a natural way, if it falls to the ground. During the weathering resulting carbonates are eventually flushed via streams and rivers into the oceans, where they sink as limestone in the oceans.

This process can be continued according to the researchers, artificially sped up by the crushed stones, or, such as in a field, an increase in weather-exposed. The basalt rock will anyway be removed in the mining industry and in cement and steel production. So that no new mines would be developed, farmers would scatter the stone particles then widely in the fields of verse, where the Wind and weather, weathered, and CO2 could bind.

A straightforward, practical approach?

farmers Would apply this technology in the world, could be filtered according to the scientists, every year two billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. For comparison, Per year, to be given by the air traffic approximately half of these emissions into the air: Worldwide air travel in the year 2019, with a CO2 emissions of around 915 million tons.

CO2 capture, CO2 emissions are not reducing the

Quite as easy as it is to represent the British researchers, it is German according to scientists, however. Researchers at the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research, published in the year 2018 a study on rock weathering. According to their findings could be bound with this method even up to five billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, the Potsdam researchers see major problems in the procurement of materials. The amounts of binding needed his to enough CO2, exceeds the extent of the waste products that would anyway apply. Accordingly, energy and water in mining, processing, and transportation is also necessary, in addition, it must be ensured that the stone parts are no harmful substances contained.

Even if you are not often fully developed – there are numerous ideas and methods by which scientists climate change and its consequences, such as drought and Floods want to defy. That it is not done so, it must be clear to everyone. It takes more than strategies to filter CO2 from the air. First of all, it is important to reduce the emissions.

The Federal government recently issued a report entitled "What the government is doing for climate protection?". There is talk of measures such as the planned Coal phase-out, CO2 pricing for fossil fuels, as well as the energy transition.

according to The report, Germany has reduced since 1990 and its greenhouse gasaustoß to 35.7 percent. For the year 2020, the German climate target is a reduction of 40 per cent, by 2030 it is expected to be 55 percent. The target for 2020, we will reach according to forecasts, and due to the Corona is likely to be most affected. What it looks like in the year 2030, it will show.

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Updated Date: 22 July 2020, 10:27

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