Bright and sunny were the days and the results of the ninth Extreme Weather Congress, which came to an end in Hamburg on Friday. During the week-long convention, more than 5,000 visitors participated in more than 250 workshops, field trips, lectures and exhibitions showcasing the many aspects and consequences caused by extreme weather. “This year, the public was particularly interested in weather myths, sound weather, extreme weather reflected by social networks, and weather on Mars”, said Frank Cooper, managing director of the Institute of Weather and Climate Communication (IWK) and initiator of the congress. “Industry visitors, on the other hand, were mainly interest in issues such as “Weather and Traffic”, or the effects of weather on building infrastructure.
Extreme weather conditions: heat and heavy rain and flooding
According to Frank Böttcher, many people feel insecure about extreme weather conditions. They want to know why and where extreme weather conditions increase, and learn about the extent to which they themselves might be affected and how they can protect themselves from heavy rain, storms and floods. A reconnaissance of these fears, and the provision of information for the general public will therefore become increasingly important. Böttcher: “Many people do not realise that a severe storm tide is much less threatening than a very severe storm. IN this context, we urgently need to rethink the use of terms. “
Costly impact on public infrastructure
With airplanes, buses, trains, and other modes of transport, severe weather conditions again and again cause delays or even breakdowns of services. “For a sustainable strategy for the preservation of the existing and the planning of future transport infrastructure, it is vital to know all much as possible about the consequences of climate change”, said Dr. Paul Becker, Vice President of the German Weather Service, in his speech at the Extreme Weather Congress.
Arved Fuchs reported on Greenland
Just returned from his trip to Greenland, expedition leader Arved Fuchs reported to a full room on rapidly melting glaciers: “Greenland lost 375 billion tonnes of ice last year. This is the highest annual number since the start of observations,” Fuchs said and concluded his lecture with a request: “Not everyone has the opportunity to host an event like the Extreme Weather Congress. But if everyone considered what he could contribute to helping the climate recover, much would be won.”
The Extreme Weather Congress is the largest event of its kind in Germany and has been held at various locations for nine years. The next Extreme Weather Congress will take place March 2016.