Extreme climate events: what will the future bring?


This film from the German TV Channel DW first features the floods that affected the village of Battenberg in Germany. Flooding has been partly caused by the dry soils in the forest, which restricted infiltration and rerouted the floods. In a congress in Germany experts explain that climate change will generate more extreme events. Researchers studying clouds and storms try to better understand these extreme events.

The Ahr Valley has also been struck by devastating floods, leaving 133 dead in what is considered the worst flood in history, similar to that of 1804 and with a water level 10 m above normal levels.

The documentary then reviews a few responses to the flood. Flood risk maps have been updated; debris traps constructed; farms build bunds along contour lines to enhance infiltration.


This short documentary focuses on the destructions and misery wrought by floods in two regions of Germany in 2022. Although it there is no detailed analysis of the causes, some interesting points are made. A main and important lesson learned is how the three dry years that preceded have led to a desiccation and hardening of the soil surface, dramatically reducing infiltration capacity. This illustrates that hydrologic events are not only responses to an immediate rainfall event.

The few adaptations strategies implemented that are discussed in the film are certainly useful but seem rather anecdotic (debris traps, contour bunds). Will that be enough to avert the next flood event?

These two events that happened in regions with a temperate climate, although historically not unprecedented, illustrates how climate change is going to have effects across the world, and not only in countries prone to such disasters. Other recent films have also documented the occurrence of droughts in Germany, widening the message that Northern Europe is now also concerned by climate change.


Additional Info

  • Director: undefined
  • Producer: DW
  • Language: English
  • Year: 2022
  • Duration (min): 40
  • Theme: Flood
  • Access: Free
  • Country: Germany
  • Technical quality (star): Technical quality (star)
  • Academic interest (star): Academic interest (star)
  • Societal interest (star): Societal interest (star)
  • Technical quality: 3.5
  • Academic quality: 3.5
  • Social interest: 3.5