Nikolaos Evangeliou, Researcher at NILU (left), Marianne Tronstad Lund, Senior Researcher at CICERO (centre left), Bente Wahl, Meteorologist at Meteorological Institute (middle right) and Gunnar Myhre
This summer’s heatwave could become the norm in Norway, some of the country’s top climate researchers argued at a breakfast seminar on Thursday.
Gunnar Myhre, senior scientist at the CICERO Centre for climate research, said that the country would see more heat waves, more drought, and more extreme rainfall as a result of global warming.
“The weather will be more intense. We could have long periods of dry weather and then short and intense rainfall,” he said. “This is clearly a challenge for agriculture. The wettest gets wetter the driest gets drier.”
Myhre said models predicted that the weather would also become less predictable.
“There will be greater variation between wet and dry summers,” he said. “There is a big difference already, but it might get even bigger.”
This summer's heat wave in Norway was longer than any previously recorded, with 50 days where the temperature exceeded 20C compared to 12 days in an average summer. The previous record, set in 1947, was 37 days.
Bente Wahl from Norway’s Meteorological Institute said that this summer there had also been more sunshine than ever previously recorded, with 1,067 hours of sunshine in Oslo, shattering a record of 950 hours set in 1959.
According to the researchers, heat waves such as that seen this year should not be expected every year in the future, but when they come, models suggested they would be longer and more intense.
"Over a hundred climate simulations show that there will not be such a big change for the colder summers up until 2100. The same goes for average summers,” Rasmus Benestad, a climate researcher at the Meteorological Institute said. “But when it comes to the hot summers, the heat waves will be much longer in the future.”
According to the researchers, this year was not exceptional when it came to rainfall or drought, with this summer ranking eighth in the list of the driest summers measured in Norway.
Norwegian speakers can watch a livestream of the presentations here