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CLIMATE

How much snow will there be in Norway in 2050?

Climate researchers at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway) have estimated the difference in the amount of snow the country is likely to get in 30 years’ time.

How much snow will there be in Norway in 2050?
Photo: lsantilli/Depositphotos

2050 will see around about half as many days suitable for skiing compared with now, MET Norway scientists found according to Forsking.no.

Although it’s impossible to know exactly what will happen to the weather in the future, some calculations can be made, the science media writes.

“If greenhouse gas emissions continue like today, we expect significantly shorter winters in future,” climate scientist Reidun Gangstø Skaland at an event organized by MET Norway earlier this week.

At the event, researchers discussed the climate status for 2020 and also presented new maps showing how much snow, and how many days of snow, Norway is likely to will get in the future.

The maps can be viewed on the Norwegian Meteorological Institute website.

“Winter has already become shorter in the last 30 years and it will continue to shrink,” Skaland said to Forskning.no.

READ ALSO: Two days into 2020, Norway has already broken temperature records twice

Winter days are defined as days with temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.

In 2050, more than a million people in Norway will live in areas with less than one month of winter, according to the MET Norway analysts.

Western city Bergen, for example, will se an average of 10 to 15 winter days, compared to today's 25. In the north, Tromsø will get about winter days 80 days, compared to 120 today.

Other coastal cities, including Larvik, Tønsberg, Moss and Fredrikstad will also have significantly fewer days with snow and cold weather.

Shorter winters also mean fewer days of skiing.

Recent years have seen an average of about 80 days with skiing conditions at Nordmarka near Oslo.

According to the researchers, this will drop to 50 days in 2050 and 30 days in 2100.

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CLIMATE

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. 

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