Skip to content

A Drought In Germany Gets The Media Overexcited

August 14, 2022

By Paul Homewood


h/t Tim Scott

There is a drought in Germany, and naturally the media has gone into hyperdrive to link it to global warming:




As Europe lives through a long, hot summer, one of the continent’s major rivers is getting drier – posing major problems for the people and businesses that rely on it.

Captain Andre Kimpel casts an experienced, but worried, eye across the river Rhine, where water levels have dropped significantly in recent days.

Several ferry services in and around the town of Kaub have been forced to a standstill, but he’s still carrying people and their cars across the water to the opposite bank – for now.

"It’s no joke," he says as he navigates the water which sparkles in the summer sunshine. "We have 1.5m [5ft] of water and our boat sits 1.20m deep. So we have 30 centimetres of water left beneath us."

It’s not unusual for water levels to drop here but, Captain Kimpel says, it’s happening more frequently. "We used to have a lot of floods. Now we have a lot of low waters."

On the riverbank nearby, there’s an old measuring station. Any skipper wanting to enter the Upper Rhine will refer to the official water level recorded here.

The current level hasn’t yet fallen below the lowest figure ever recorded here, in October of 2018. The measurement then was 25cm (the measurement is taken from the same reference point in the water, not the deepest point on the river bed).

It’s currently 42cm – but is forecast to fall further in the coming days.

The government agency which monitors the levels say that the current low water may just be part of a normal pattern. But, they note, such events are becoming more intense as a result of climate change and they say the situation will worsen in the second half of this century.


This report is all over the media, and all with virtually the same wording, suggesting a carefully coordinated, manufactured story, almost certainly from one of the well funded, climate misinformation organisations.

The BBC headline is grossly misleading, as the 30cm is the water under the boat; As Captain Kempl comments, the river depth is actually 1.5m.

The river gauge measurement of 42cm at Kaub is also widely reported, but is equally misleading, as this measurement is taken near the river bank, rather than at the deepest part of the stream.

In none of the dozens of reports I have read is there any actual historical data to compare against this event, whether rainfall or water level data. We are told this is the lowest water level since 2018, as if this means anything at all. There is no evidence presented to show that this drought is in any way unprecedented, or that droughts are becoming more extreme; merely this claim that appears in most of the articles:

“HGK and other shipping companies are preparing for a “new normal" in which low water levels become more common as global warming makes droughts more severe, sapping water along the length of the Rhine from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.

“There’s no denying climate change and the industry is adjusting to it,”

However, annual rainfall trends at Mainz, which is just upstream of Kalb, show that while recent years have been drier than the 1980s and 90s, they are no drier than the 1950s. We also see exactly the same trends with April to September rainfall:





And finally, WUWT offers an insight to some of the megadroughts in Germany in the past, notably in 1540.

There is therefore nothing to suggest that this is not just another weather event.

  1. Donna permalink
    August 14, 2022 1:56 pm

    And this mordon writer is TOO LAZY to research PAST droughts that Europe has experienced for thousands of years… IT IS climate CYCLING just like it has done HUNDREDS of times for 5,000 – 10,000 – 1,000,000 years… Easy to be an idiot and cry wolf cause your friendly terrorist hoax gov’t likes it.

    • Sapper2 permalink
      August 15, 2022 7:37 am

      Sorry, they are children. They cannot think in broader terms unless it is in front of their nose. Critical analysis is unknown to them, possibly deliberately so for the slightly more mature with some modicum of education. Sadly this pathetic infantile approach to life reflects a wider malaise in the generation now in power as national, regional and local policy makers and administrators. Maybe the generation that follows has some insight into these failings, from what I read somewhere.

  2. Chris Phillips permalink
    August 14, 2022 2:26 pm

    With the Rhine as with reservoirs in Britain the media journalists tell us that such low water levels are “unprecedented” and thus a consequence of climate change. Then a little later they say it’s been the driest spell since 1976 or another date, thus proving that the situation is NOT unprecedented at all.

    • John Hultquist permalink
      August 14, 2022 4:12 pm

      ‘ … they say it’s been the driest spell since 1976 or another date, …”

      This happens so often I wonder if part of their brain is missing. Journalists ought to be required to take classes in logic and ethics.

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    August 14, 2022 3:09 pm

    Afaik, the alarmist MetO ran many, many different models (!) before they came up with the one that blamed CO2. I guess we shall never be allowed to know if, for instance, the models that blamed CO2 actually allowed for clouds – or, in the case of the weather round here (Midlands), lack of clouds. The MetO should be made to account for their models – and the statistical likelihood of them being right.

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      August 14, 2022 6:55 pm

      That’s a very good point. Can the Met Office be FOI’d?

      How many runs did the SkS guys make before they arrived at their ‘97%’ figure? Likewise the Zimmerman paper where 10,000 emails and 1,500 odd questionnaire responses were magically whittled down to 77 / 79 = 97%?

      Did they hit ‘97%’ first time and every time thereafter, with no deviations? Or did it take them 101 different model runs before arriving at a figure they wanted?

      It’s not just what they say, often it’s what they don’t.

    • August 15, 2022 8:57 am

      Cloud data is a known problem for climate models.

  4. Harry Davidson permalink
    August 14, 2022 3:19 pm

    How will it compare to the drought of 1450? No rain for 11 months in the middle of the LIA.

    • Matt Dalby permalink
      August 16, 2022 11:16 pm

      I saw a story in the media yesterday (but sadly can’t remember the link for it) about low river levels in Europe exposing “famine stones”. These are rocks that were placed on the river bed during major droughts hundreds of years ago with a warning carved on them saying something like “when the water level is this low your going to starve”. Clearly this shows that this years drought is not that unusual in an historical context.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 14, 2022 3:51 pm

    In another example of a grotesque waste of time, energy, and money; I give you Charm.
    They use a vast amount of resources to convert bio waste (eg the stuff that Drax should be burning instead of entire forests) into oil, which they then pump back into the ground.

  6. Mike Jackson permalink
    August 14, 2022 4:10 pm
    A “must read”. If spiked-online has joined the ranks of outright deniers there may be hope.

  7. dennisambler permalink
    August 14, 2022 5:35 pm

    From 2010:

    “High temperatures and droughts have also been documented in Europe going back over centuries. For example, ecclesiastical documents from Spain referencing the period 1506 to 1900 in Toledo and Madrid, show that “the most severe droughts were recorded during the period from the end of the 16th Century up until the 18th Century”.

    Dutch records ( show that the year 1540 was one with an even hotter summer than the heat wave year of 2003. “This Europe-wide heat wave lasted for seven months, harvests were destroyed and thousands of cattle died, leading to wide spread famine and death. The Rhine dried up and it was reported that people could walk upon the Seine riverbed in Paris without getting their feet wet.”

  8. Richard permalink
    August 14, 2022 6:05 pm

    There have been various mega droughts over the last 1000 years ago. A thousand years ago the rivers Seine , Rhine and Loire dried up. In 1947 the Rhine was so low barges were bottoming out and in 1953 the Rhine was low enough for a massive trawl of 2nd word war armaments.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      August 14, 2022 6:33 pm

      My daughter is currently working at Lindau on the Bodensee (aka Lake Constance). She has sent me a photo of the river which is “a lot of edge and not much middle”.
      The local reaction appears to be “So? It’s summer.”

      • August 15, 2022 10:31 pm

        Many of the rivers in those Alpine regions are only full when the snow melts in spring.

    • Vernon E permalink
      August 14, 2022 6:44 pm

      Richard: Maybe there were but populations depending on water were a fraction of what they are today.

      • richard permalink
        August 15, 2022 3:57 pm

        same old , same old climate, that’s the discussion

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 14, 2022 6:08 pm

    Well it looks highly unlikely anywhere in the UK reached 35C today, so instead of the most intense spell of heat since 1976 with the BBC predicting 5 consecutive days over 35C (even a single day reaching 35C is still a rare UK occurrence), we had precisely none. They were obviously getting a bit giddy after the UHI boosted 40C heat burst, and counting chickens.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 15, 2022 11:05 am

      Your post reminded to me the check the data. 35C is 95F and the peak I recorded was 92.1f on Saturday and that was the only day to hit 90. I had 87.8, 88.9, 92.1 and 89.6 over the last 4 days. Readings are taken every minute. The 90 or above spell on Saturday lasted from 13:56 to 18:51.

      Today’s forecast seems to be all about cloud cover. Wunderground think less and peak at 81 this afternoon. weather-forecast thinks more at 79 and with a storm risk from 5pm turning to showers from 9pm.

  10. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 14, 2022 6:57 pm

    “The government agency which monitors the levels say that the current low water may just be part of a normal pattern. But, they note, such events are becoming more intense as a result of climate change and they say the situation will worsen in the second half of this century.”

    What? So its normal but also climate change? And it’s normal but more intense? And it will worsen? They know that how?

    We have a pretty normal drought, that is natural variability and isn’t even that bad, but somehow it’s actually climate change and actually bad. Utterly fraudulent reporting.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      August 14, 2022 7:35 pm

      Any senior civil servant or minister doing their job properly would be calling out whoever is responsible for the statement.
      Is it within previously known limits (even if you do have to go back a century or two)? Show me the evidence that a) this is outside the known intensity range, b) that this situation WILL BE worse post-2050. (Your pal down the corridor’s computer-enhanced guesswork is not evidence).
      Actually, I don’t blame the ministers. They are political appointees because that is the way our system works. But I do expect them to hold their department heads to account.

  11. Realist permalink
    August 14, 2022 7:47 pm

    Long summer? Still a while to go before the summer is longer than the one in 1976.

  12. Nicholas Lewis permalink
    August 14, 2022 8:41 pm

    fear not they will be moaning about too much rain soon although that will also be a result of climate change

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 14, 2022 8:46 pm

      Yep, next summer or the one after when we get an endless series of depressions and rain, they will shamelessly switch the narrative and temporarily consign this one to the memory hole.

    • Chris Phillips permalink
      August 14, 2022 9:44 pm

      The met office people are already saying that it’ll be “the wrong type of rain” that will fall and that the drought “will last into 2023”. They say it’ll run straight off the hard ground which maybe true, but then seem to think the water will disappear, rather than ending up in the rivers, where it will replenish reservoirs.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        August 14, 2022 11:21 pm

        We had Tim Flannery in Australia saying just that in 2007 “global warming was so baking our Earth that even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems.”

        He was following up his predictions that
        2004 “There is a fair chance Perth will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis.”
        2005 predicted Sydney’s dams could be dry in as little as two years
        2008 “Adelaide … may run out of water by early 2009.”
        2009 “this may be the Arctic’s first ice-free year.”
        He was 100% wrong.

  13. August 14, 2022 8:45 pm

    Richard Tice of TalkTV tweets
    @SkyNews @BBCNews will you have physicist and electrical engineer @catandman Brian Catt on to discuss the other side of climate debate?
    If not, what are you afraid of ?

    libmob angrily shout in the replies that Catt should be banned for not siding with their dogma

  14. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 15, 2022 7:54 am

    Lots of stories of so-called “hunger stones” being uncovered in rivers because of the drought yet virtually all still blame climate change!

  15. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 15, 2022 9:19 am

    The Daily Mail has revived a blast from the past. I thought Geoffrey Lean had retired. Unfortunately not

    A freak summer… or a terrifying glimpse of what is to come? GEOFFREY LEAN examines what Britain must do to stop experts’ hellish vision of a parched country coming true

  16. M E permalink
    August 15, 2022 10:23 am

    In New Zealand our local and national politicians think we can switch Climate Change off if we do various impossible things. I suppose the same is true of the United Kingdom?
    “f we do these things in a generation or two everything will be fine.” WE won’t be around to see it , of course. BUT these politicians are only trying to stay in power until the next election. and when they are out of power and their predictions fail they will tell us that their Government Department heads told them to say these things in Parliament and the same for local councillors and Council Offices.. It seems to me that these governmental bodies are backing this Climate Change scam because they are merely trying to stay in employment and fill up more office space until their age of retirement. (Parkinson’s Law C Northcote Parkinson.)

  17. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 15, 2022 11:42 am

    I found this map of German river water levels which can be explored for detail. The amber and green dots give an easy indication of passable and impassable routes for barges Alternatively, hit Züruck and navigate the Wasserstande to the rivers and locations of interest.

    I can recall several previous years when Rhein navigation was severely impeded by drought. Bulk goods are most at risk: coal, oil, ores and grain.

  18. Lemmi permalink
    August 15, 2022 12:56 pm

    I saw a BBC reporter standing on the bed of the Rhine say that the water was so low that people were going to an island in the river via an old stone bridge. Not a sign of ‘wait a minute, bridge?’ across her face.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: