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Scenario 2040 for Germany: How climate change alters our daily life

02/08/2013 - “Two degrees Celsius more in Germany” – scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and sociologists analyzed what this might mean in detail. A book with the same title was just released by Fischer publishing house, addressing a broad public. Hot summers with average temperatures of more than 35 degrees Celsius are only one example of many potential impacts of climate change in Germany: “People in the cities will be affected as well as agriculture and forestry,” says PIK scientist and co-editor Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe. The “Scenario 2040” outlines these impacts and illustrates how climate change alters our everyday life.
Scenario 2040 for Germany: How climate change alters our daily life

Co-editor Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe. Photo: PIK

“Today the average temperature in Germany is already one degree higher than it was 1950,” Gerstengarbe points out. The book is based on a business-as-usual scenario with unabated emissions of greenhouse-gases. Under this scenario, a two-degrees-limit for Germany will be breached around 2040. What these changes might mean for our cities and our countryside is explained by PIK scientists in one part of the “Scenario 2040”, computer simulations by a climate model developed at PIK supplied data for several regional climate impact models. Challenges for society and the role of adaptation are explored by a team of sociologist led by co-editor Harald Welzer, director of Futurzwei Foundation. “For the first time, climate scientists and sociologists worked together on a plausible scenario for the situation in Germany,” Welzer says.

A further increase of average temperatures after 2040 as well as repercussions of global climate impacts on the situation in Germany are not taken into account for the book. Therefore, the presented scenario is “rather optimistic”, Gerstengarbe says: “It is common ground that we will be witnessing major changes due to the impacts of climate change in the short period until 2040 – for nature but also for society”.


Gerstengarbe, F.-W., Welzer, H. (Hrsg.) (2013): „Zwei Grad mehr in Deutschland. Wie der Klimawandel unseren Alltag verändern wird – Das Szenario 2040“. Fischer-Verlag

Weblink to publisher

Weblink to „KlimafolgenOnline“, offering information on climate change on a regional level for Germany in pilot phase

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