Climate change in Norway: It’s getting ugly up there

The winter of 2016-2017 was remarkable in Scandinavia in many ways. As an example, Norway experienced temperatures at least 2-3 degrees above average – some places up to 7 degrees.

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Global warming is taking a toll on Norway, where it’s getting both warmer and wetter. The dramatic increase in temperature and precipitation is damaging to many sectors in the Norwegian economy.

Knut H. Alfsen, Senior Researcher at Center for International Climate Research, is calling it “an ugly problem”.

Poor snow coverage

One of the sectors most affected by the new climate reality is the ski industry. Norefjell Skisenter is just one of many Norwegian ski resorts suffering from the consequences of critical weather conditions.

– In the recent winter, we haven’t had much in the way of snowfall or frost. It’s starting to get critical, because we can’t open the lifts. We simply don’t have enough snow on the slopes, says Morgan Solli, employee at Norefjell Skisenter.

To stay in business, Norefjell Skisenter has invested heavily in snow production equipment to cover the slopes with artificial snow.

– Using more snow production equipment helps us to better protect our business and it will be vital to running a ski destination, says Geir Bottolfs, Marketing manager at Norefjell Skisenter.

“It’s starting to get critical, because we can’t open the lifts. We simply don’t have enough snow on the slopes”


Changes in agricultural practices

The Norwegian farming industry is also heavily exposed to climate change causing a distressing increase in precipitation. The rising amount of rainfall has an alarming effect on crops as well as farming practices.

– We have to take precautions. Increasing drainage, digging ditches, and equipping tractors for a wet climate all make it more and more expensive to run a farm, says dairy farmer Peder Hanem Aasprang

In the mini-documentary above, Nordea’s Sasja Beslik has travelled to Norway to uncover and understand the critical consequences of global warming.

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