Norway warming fast

Norway’s rate of temperature increase is nearly double the global average

Norway moving fast

Photo: Arne Nævra / NRK
Young polar bear on remnant of iceberg east of Edgøya, Svalbard archipelago.

M. Michael Brady
Asker, Norway

Global warming has been more rapid in Norway than elsewhere around the world. Since the 30-year pre-industrial period of 1861-1890, the temperature of the globe has risen 0.73°C (1.16°F) over the equivalent 30-year period of today. But in Norway the rise has been 1.3°C (2.08°F), nearly twice the global figure.

The reason is that Norway is in the high north, near the Arctic. So as sea ice melts, snow cover goes down, due to less sunlight being reflected back into space. In turn, more sunlight is absorbed by land and ice, which sustains and accelerates warming.

Norway stretches so far from south to north that the same effect has been seen within the country. Warming is most rapid in the Svalbard archipelago on the Arctic. There the temperature rise has been three times as much as that of Oslo. According to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, March 2019 was the 100th month in a row in which the temperature of Svalbard has been above its long-term average.

Further reading:

• “Climate change hurts Svalbard,” The Norwegian American, Oct. 1, 2018: www.norwegianamerican.com/news/climate-change-hurts-svalbard

• “100 måneder med temperatur over normalen på Svalbard” (100 months with temperatures over average in Svalbard), by Amalle Kvame Holm, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, March 24, 2019: www.met.no/nyhetsarkiv/100-maneder-med-temperatur-over-normalen-pa-svalbard (in Norwegian bokmål)

• WMO Statement on the state of the global climate in 2018, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 2019: library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=20799#.XKnvh6RS_Ps

This article originally appeared in the April 19, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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