Northern Norway reports abnormally warm start to October

Night-time temperatures of 15-16 degrees Celsius in Norway are not normal for the time of year.

Northern Norway reports abnormally warm start to October
Illustration photo: Guillaume Briard on Unsplash

The northern part of the country in particular has had an unusually warm start to October.

Bodø, the capital of the North Norway county, registered a temperature of 16.5 degrees on the first day of the month, an all-time record for the location, NRK reports.

Warm evenings in the north have continued since, with the other days in October seeing night temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees.

The weather has also been dry, with only small amounts of rain since the beginning of this month.

Other locations including Kristiansand, Arendal, Værnes and Bergen have also experienced record high temperatures for October, according to the broadcaster’s report.

But the north of the country is showing the most marked trend.

“There is a clear trend. North Norway has had the most warming generally, including in the autumn,” Met Norway researcher Helga Therese Tilley Tajet told NRK.

“North Norway is the region (in Norway) which has had the highest warming since 1900. The autumn, along with spring, is the season which has increased most,” she also said.

Tajet cited global warming as the cause for the measured increases. But several factors are involved in the relatively faster warming in the north, she said.

“Less snow cover results in higher warming up when the sun is out. Less sea ice means the sea gets more heat from the sun,” she said.

“It is concerning that heat record after heat record is being broken. September was the warmest (September) ever measured globally,” she added.

READ ALSO: How much snow will there be in Norway in 2050?

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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.