Norway’s apples are ripening in record time

This year’s apple season has been so fruitful that distributors in Norway are running short on storage space.

Norway’s apples are ripening in record time
Photo: belchonock/Depositphotos

Meteorologists have linked climate change to the quickly-ripening fruits, NRK reports.

Orchards in the western area of Hardanger told the broadcaster that this year’s apple season had been unusually short and intense, with a much shorter window than usual for harvesting.

Large quantities of apples are now ready for transport to distributors and trees have been cleared of fruit, according to the report.

“It has been a good season. The quality is also good. We can see that in both the colour and taste (of the apples),” Olav Velken, a fruit farmer from the Ullensvang municipality, told NRK.

A fruit distributor in the area, Hardanger Fjordfrukt, has received 1,600 tonnes of apples in four weeks – an amount that rolled over the course of seven weeks last year, the broadcaster writes.

The volume of apples is reported to have caused logistical issues, with a shortage of space and storage boxes.

This year’s apple season actually began slowly, with cold spring weather. But a warm, dry summer with record temperatures in Western Norway was followed by a wet autumn, bringing about a huge apple harvest.

Apple production is an area that could be affected by climate change, Geir Ottar Fagerlid, a meteorologist with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, told NRK.

“The long-term trend is that it’s getting warmer, and a warmer climate is, in isolation, good for agriculture as the growing season is extended,” Fagerlid said.

“At the same time, new problems can turn up, like insects and pests as well as heavy thunderstorms and downpours, which can ruin crops,” he added.

READ ALSO: Norway could see 40-degree summers: climate experts


How do Norway’s CO2 emissions compare to other countries?

Norway can be seen as either a relatively green country or one of the worlds largest polluters, depending on whether you include emissions which occur abroad as a result of its oil trade.

Pictured is the chimney of an industrial building emitting fumes. When taking emissions per capita into account Norway is one of the worlds top 20 CO2 producers.
Pictured is the chimney of an industrial building emitting fumes. When taking emissions per capita into account Norway is one of the worlds top 20 CO2 producers. Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

Norway has long been in the strange juxtaposition of being perceived as one of Europe’s greener countries while being one of the continent’s biggest natural oil and gas producers. 

While most new cars sold in the country are electric, and the coalition government has announced several carbon-cutting goals as part of its government policy platform, the nation of 5.3 million will continue to develop its oil industry and press on with exploration for gas and “black gold”. 

Within its own borders, then Norway is only the world’s 61st biggest CO2 polluter, according to data on the country’s carbon dioxide output provided by climate researchers Cicero and the Global Carbon Project for broadcaster NRK

The country emits 41 million tonnes of CO2 annually, according to figures it submits to the UN. This pales in comparison to the 329 million tonnes released by the UK, the 1.5 billion tonnes emitted by Russia, the 4.7 billion tonnes the USA has reported to the UN, and the more than 10 billion tonnes China discharges.

By this metric, Norway looks to be relatively green. However, when emissions per capita are considered, Norway leapfrogs the UK and China, emitting 7.7 tonnes per person.

These figures don’t consider the environmental impact of the country’s oil and gas trade. Most of the industry’s emissions occur outside of Norway and are therefore not included in the national figures. 

READ ALSO: How will climate change impact Norway?

When emissions released by the oil and gas trade outside of the country’s borders are accounted for then Norway becomes the 17th largest nation in terms of CO2 output. 

Additionally, when emissions produced outside its borders are taken into consideration, carbon dioxide generated per person in Norway jumps from 7.7 tonnes to 93.6. This puts Norway fourth overall, behind oil giants Qatar, Kuwait and Brunei. 

Norway’s petroleum minister, Marte Mjøs Persen, told NRK that the country wasn’t responsible for emissions produced abroad as a result of oil and gas exports. 

“Not according to the Paris Agreement. There we are responsible for the emissions we have in the Norwegian sector,” Persen told NRK.