RISING temperatures due to global warming will cause “many Germans to go to the Baltic instead of Majorca,” according to the President of the German Meteorological Service (DWD), Wolfgang Kusch. This is bad news for the local tourist industry as the Germans, along with the British, are the biggest groups of visitors.

Kusch was speaking in Berlin, where he presented a study about the consequences which climate change could have for Germany and said that there would be “winners and losers”. He said that although the rise in temperatures could attract tourists in the summer, the lack of snow in winter would damage countries where winter sports are practised.

The head of the German weather service also said that the high temperatures would damage the health of his fellow countrymen, especially old people and children, and would encourage skin diseases and the spread of infections. In addition to this, Kusch said that more people would die during the heat waves as Germany is well able to cope with the cold but it is not prepared for the high temperatures which climate change is expected to generate.

According to Kusch, agriculture and stockbreeding are among the sectors which will be most affected by climate change and he confirmed that the lack of water in certain areas would force people to move to other areas. Kusch confirmed that he thought the environmental policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel “are on the right road” for dealing with this phenomenon, although he said he considered that “there is still much to do” to stop climate change.

His findings echo reports by specialists from other countries, including Spain, who say that the Mediterranean -and that includes the Balearics -- may become too hot for summer tourists. And a rise in sea levels is expected to play havoc with the islands' beaches, leaving some low-lying areas under water.

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