Northern Germany: Dustclouds Rolling

If recent years’ springs and summers were meteorologically typical for most of the year, we could expect olive trees to grow here within decades. But every winter would probably kill them again. It seems to me, based on more recent experience, that Northern Germany’s climate is moving towards a two-season climate now, without real springs or falls – it’s been warm or hot from April through August or September, and cold for the rest of the past few years.

Osterwiese - Bremens sixteen-days easter market, opened on April 15.

Precipitation in general is down a lot, and the last rain, except for a few drops that wouldn’t even make you want to shelter, was some five weeks ago, The “water balance” (rain minus evaporation) for Germany in general has been negative since March 1 this year.

waterpipes

Hedges, shrubs, and trees: reaching deep and thriving.

In our region, this seems to have a bad effect especially on oaktrees, which are greening only scarcely, and on all kinds of plants with short-reaching root systems.

A sand storm near Rostock, on the Baltic seacoast, led to a crash of up to eighty cars on the motorway Autobahn 19 on April 9th, with ten deaths and at least 97 injuries. Today, I heard several dust cloud warnings for Lower Saxony’s (the federal state neighboring and surrounding Bremen)  autobahns on the radio, and as it was one of the never-start-thinking radio stations, they kept issuing jubilant weather forecasts – for the weekend and beyond, no rain is expected either.

That doesn’t look like a promising year for farmers. One  can water square meters, but not hectares, during a long dry period.

This post marks the end of my ten-days break from posting. It  wasn’t exactly consistent, but still relaxing.

Now I’ve brought my feedreader back to life. But I don’t feel like writing something about China yet. I might start with something Adam Cathcart appears to have been doing in recent days: reading, reading, reading.

And if you haven’t been to Pingtung Country (屏東縣), Taiwan, and aren’t likely to get there anytime soon, the best thing next to going there yourself might be to read this Pingtung-County-sponsored travelogue by Michael Turton.

Another cool and dry morning: moonset, sunrise, April 2011. Day temperatures go beyond 20 degrees C. now, while the latest night frost was only three nights ago.

3 Responses to “Northern Germany: Dustclouds Rolling”

  1. JR I can understand your frame of mind. I’m experiencing a quite visceral dislike of china at the moment, and have to watch my posts as they are likely to be quite unhinged and nasty.

    Horticulturally, this year has been exceptional in term of rain. Over 600ml in Feb and I have the largest quantity of noxious weeds you can imagine, plus tall grass you can hide elephants in. Strictly two seasons here. Only when I lived in Korea did I experience the four distinct seasons and quite liked it.

    I set up a 22,000litre water tanks some time ago, and after tweaking the water filtration system for the inlet, have tons of the sweetest water imaginable. Come back to town and have to put up with treated water, and the difference is really noticeable.

    The traffic is just terrible here over Easter, so shall stay home and update my almost forgotten blog with my Yang mission from god, plus a general review of all the sites I interact with incl JRs Beautiful Blog.

    I agree. Adam is doing the right thing and some of his latest links are killers. As you will notice, I had a ton of fun with one.

    Best for Easter.

    Like

  2. Talking about horticulture, that’s where all my time and energy has gone today, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m., right now – it’s Easter vacations here. Stored water is all for the garden – drinking water is treated here (I prefer saying tapped water, sounds nicer).
    I can’t tell if I like rural or urban places better, but I enjoy stays in the city, too, provided that it is Bremen. It’s not as big as Berlin or Hamburg, where people only know their quarter of it, plus the city, but big enough to be urban, and it has an atmosphere of its own – anyway, it’s my home town, and it’s where most of my friends live.

    As for China, I think it is what it is – and it’s sometimes hard to tell what it is like. What angers me isn’t so much its political system or the apparently growing resentment of the West there. That’s always been there and only seems to be on the rise. What angers me more often is the way Westerners find excuses for that, so long as they can hope for some business. But as Tibet’s supreme monk likes to say, “anger is fruitless”. I’m not sure if it always is, but its probably wise to speak or write only once one has taken some time to think about ones anger. As you can see, I had lots of fun with some comments about the Dalai Lama post, too, back in 2008.
    I think it was the first time that there was a real discussion, with 19 (nineteen) responses. (Mine included, OK.)

    A happy Easter to you too.

    Like

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