A cold June on a warmer planet

The temperature in Stavanger’s Våland district reached 8.4C (about 47F.1) in the middle of June yesterday, but this does not mean global warming is off.

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Neither a cool Norwegian summer nor two cold winters change climate researchers’ hypothesis about manmade global warming. According to Eystein Jansen, director of the Bjerknes Centre in Bergen, all one has to do is look at the statistics. Foto: NASA.

  • Turid Furdal
    Journalist
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Shivering peoplehurried to work and cruise tourists hastened into the streets of Stavanger in northwesterlywinds, with temperatures not even in double digits.

How is this year’scold Norwegian June connected to global warming, actually?

“You can’t say somethingabout global warming just by looking at the thermometer outside the window,”climate researcher Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie at CICERO (Centre for InternationalClimate and Environmental Research –Oslo) tells Aftenbladet.

“This is because onetakes a whole globe into account when considering climate change, and there aremajor variations from week to week and from place to place. Even though it’scold here, it’s quite hot in the Ukraine during the European FootballChampionship,” she adds.

Linked to incoming wind patterns

There is no doubtthat this year’s June is cold in Norway, however, made even more noticeablefollowing May’s hot summer days.

“Both the weather andtemperature in Norway are closely linked to incoming wind patterns,” says climateresearcher Hans Olav Hygen at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo.

A key term here isthe NAO, or "the North Atlantic Oscillation." This is an index thatdescribes the pressure differences between Iceland and the Azores, as well as explainingthe weather pattern in Norway.

“The index shows howstrong the wind is coming in from the sea, and how it carries air masses overthe Atlantic. The stronger the index is, the warmer it gets. As a rule, it’susually too wet In the west. When the NAO index is low, it becomes colder andwe get a different precipitation pattern than we're used to. The NAO index waslow last summer. The same applies to the two previous, cold winters,”

Warmer over the last hundred years

Neither a coolNorwegian summer nor two cold winters change climate researchers’ hypothesisabout manmade global warming. According to Eystein Jansen, director of theBjerknes Centre in Bergen, all one has to do is look at the statistics.

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“It’s become 1.5Cdegrees warmer in Norway over the last hundred years. The temperature has risena bit faster than previously during the last 50. While there are enormousdifferences in the weather year by year, a very long-term trend is occurring inwhich the temperature curve swings slowly upwards. An equally important trend asglobal warming is also an increase in precipitation. It is rains 20 percentmore in this country than it did 100 years ago,” he concludes. More on the climate:

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