Temperatures have been noticeably mild in the north of late – four and a half degrees Celsius above average in December, in fact, according to data from the climate department Norway's Institute of Meteorology.
Overall temperatures in both winter and autumn have been 2 to 3 degrees warmer than average, Reidun Gangstø Skaland with the meteorology institute told state broadcaster NRK.
These figures represent a larger trend, according to Skaland:
“We are seeing temperatures rise consistently with global warming. The average temperature in Norway has increased by around one degree Celsius since 1900, with half of this increase coming within the last 15 years,” she told NRK
“If this trend continues, we are likely to see an increase of four or five degrees by the end of the century. Northern parts of the country will see the most dramatic changes, with an increase of up to six degrees.”
2015 has been one of the warmest years recorded by the Institute of Meteorology since measurements began in 1901. Norwegians have felt the difference – coastal areas of northern Nordland county, for example, have experienced an unusual number of days with plus-zero temperatures.
“We can expect less snow [in the far north] in the years to come, especially on the coast where we will see precipitation in the form of rain. But there will still be variations from year to year,” Skaland said.
“It's not been the best weather. A bit of rain and a bit of sun. It would have been nice to have a bit of snow now that it's December,” 10-year-old Nora Sivertsen from the northern city of Bodø told NRK.