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The fight against extreme weather : farmers need to have a rethink

Cottbus is Carcassonne, Treuenbrietzen to Toulouse. For the tourism industry-it may sound tempting, for many others – in particular, the agriculture – does it sound more like a threat, if it is, in the state of Brandenburg could soon be climatic conditions, such as in the South of France, Mr. Indeed, model calculations are always afflicted with uncertainties, particularly climate development is still unclear, because today no-one knows how the emissions of greenhouse gases in the next decades will develop.

The trend, however, is clear: It will be warmer. Since the beginning of the 20th century. Century, average temperatures have already risen by almost one degree Celsius. Until the end of the 21st century. Century, it could be another three degrees or more. People have to adjust to drastic Changes.

"climate change is more heat in the earth system, as a result, the temperatures rise, this is simple physics," says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the consequences of the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research founded, and until his Retirement in the autumn of 2018 headed. However, as the rainfall in Brandenburg to develop, whether it be over the year is actually less, let him not say clearly, because there was uncertainty as to how the flow patterns change in the atmosphere.

weather extremes require adaptation in many areas

"there are Likely to be due to the warming of the Arctic more frequently blocked weather, such as we have experienced it already in the summer of 2018," says the researcher. "This means that the pendulum deflects more than we are previously used to. There will be over a longer period of time in either extreme dryness or very heavy rainfall.“ Sure is also that there are as a result of the higher temperatures and more evaporation. As a result, the floor takes on moisture.

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groundwater levels are relatively stable, even after a very dry summer like last year, such as the Brandenburg Ministry for Rural development, the environment and agriculture. The total amount of rainfall should remain at the present level, will be replenished the underground water reserves are sufficient and can be used in dry periods.

"irrigation is expensive and by Far not the Only thing charged to farmers increased," says Schellnhuber, who grew up on a farm. "Extreme weather such as heavy rain, are thought to occur more frequently, can destroy the whole harvest." Also in the forestry sector, significant adjustments were required. "Owners of large forest areas and forest administrations have ignored climate change for a long time. Now, after severe storms knocked down many trees and drought and bark beetles have the remaining part, the interest is much greater.“ In the view of the researcher, resilient, so resistant structures are needed: more mixed forests instead of pine monocultures of robust plants, and a smart water management, as well as in agriculture.

The realignment could be a Chance

The realignment of agriculture and forestry could also be a Chance, especially for the Lausitz, the addiction as a result of the Coal phase-out in the next twenty years, new perspectives, says Schellnhuber. He was a member of the coal Commission and knows the thoughts of the people in the Region. "It must not be forgotten: Since the reunification, the number of jobs in the lignite industry has already decreased from 100 000 to 8000, for economic reasons, alone, without climate protection. Now is the Chance to organize a relatively mild phase-out and to develop by using the amounts of Funding the economy of the future.“

part could be a highly modern, sustainable agriculture, the Metropolitan area of Berlin supplied with local food. It is well known that conventional agriculture provides with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, much higher yields per area. In order to reduce this lead and to protect the environment, Schellnhuber on a kind of digitized ecological agriculture. It uses satellites to work accurately (precision farming), artificial intelligence and the new, bio-based plant protection products. "These things should not only used, but also here to be explored."

there are already concrete projects. Only recently, the Federal Ministry of education and research has announced a promotion to develop the Lusatia region a model region for the adaptation of land use to climate change. It is not only food, but also to biological raw materials to replace coal and oil increasingly.

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Roland Knauer

The future of our climate is the topic of the panel discussion with Anna Lena Baerbock, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Ludolf von Maltzan. Moderation: Thomas Prinzler; 30. June 2019 to 17 clock

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