Overseen climate dilemma: Too much rain!

Christian Wenande
January 9th, 2018

This article is more than 5 years old.

Danish researchers concerned about increase in rainfall

That’s not a paddy field, this is Denmark (photo: FEMA)

Rising sea levels, powerful storms, melting icecaps and hotter temperatures are just some of the consequences attributed to climate change.

But with 2017 being the 10th wettest year since records began in 1874, Danish researchers are up in arms about another overseen issue: too much rain. The heavy rain is taking groundwater levels to a point where there is no space left for water in the ground.

“Rising sea levels are a very big problem in the long-term, but increasing rainfall will hit us sooner. It’s a problem we may have turned a blind eye to,” Jørgen E Olesen, a professor at the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, told DR Nyheder.

“In west and north Jutland, the water level is so high on the fields that crops aren’t harvested and there are fields where it’s impossible to sow. The groundwater level is simply way too high.”

READ MORE: Snow and winter chill hitting Denmark this weekend

Politicians prepping
Olesen contends the increase in rainfall, combined with groundwater levels rising across most of the country, is one of the biggest and most overseen climate problems in Denmark, particularly given that 80 out of the country’s 98 municipalities saw more rain than expected last year.

The professor argues the problems are greater in flat areas where the groundwater builds up without the possibility of running off, such as in west and north Jutland.

Several parties in Parliament, including Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti and Socialdemokraterne, have recognised the issue and are prepared to discuss options.


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