- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Climatologist Warns of Rising Climate Extremes in Czech Republic: Heatwaves, Floods, Fires, and Heavy Rainfall
Renowned climatologist Radim Tolasz delves into the escalating climate challenges facing the Czech Republic in an illuminating interview with Seznam Zpravy. In his analysis, Tolasz underscores a concerning trend: while higher average temperatures may seem manageable, it’s the surging occurrence of extreme temperatures that demands attention. Tolasz notes that where heatwaves once hovered around 30°C, they now soar to a blistering 34°C. This shift in temperature extremes is a harbinger of more pronounced climate anomalies.
The Czech Republic’s susceptibility to a spectrum of climatic disturbances is a stark reality. Rising average temperatures, heatwaves, river flooding, fire conditions, and torrential rainfall loom as potential climate extremes by the middle of the century, as indicated by the latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Tolasz underscores the inertia of the climate system, asserting that the repercussions of past emissions will continue to shape the nation’s trajectory for decades to come.
Tolasz’s assessment pinpoints a key challenge: while Austria actively engages in discussions about landscape adaptation, such practices remain underimplemented in the Czech Republic. He emphasizes that the crux of the issue isn’t merely the elevated average temperature, but the concurrent rise in extreme temperatures that beget more frequent and intensified phenomena like heatwaves.
In response to these daunting prospects, Tolasz advocates for the incorporation of blue-green urban infrastructure to counteract the intensifying heat and torrential rainfall. He elucidates the vulnerabilities arising from inadequate urban sewers when confronting heavy rainfall. Moreover, he underscores the role of agriculture in exacerbating erosion and flood risks.
As the Czech Republic grapples with the augmented threat of fires, Tolasz elucidates the nexus between heightened fire risks, climate-induced stronger winds, and drought. While human factors frequently initiate fires, climate change acts as a catalyst for their propagation. Tolasz acknowledges the uncertainty surrounding the worsening of droughts in various models, alluding to shifting rainfall patterns and their impact on water resources, especially the potential ramifications for winter snowpack-dependent reservoirs.
This candid interview navigates through a landscape of potential adversities, delving into the intricate interplay between climate shifts and their multifaceted implications for the Czech Republic’s environment, infrastructure, and society at large.
Article by Prague Forum