Climate change could see this year’s warm summer become a normality for Norway and the Scandinavian country could become even hotter, researchers have warned.
People in both the north and south of Norway will see temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius this weekend – a summer temperature that is unusually high for the northern country.
Climate researchers have warned of long-term average temperature increases of two to four degrees if climate change continues at its present rate.
A number of records for hot weather have already been set this summer.
The warmest temperature recorded so far this year in Norway is 34 degrees – four degrees more than the warmest day of last year.
Tore Furevik, professor at the University of Bergen and director of the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, told newspaper Dagbladet that this year’s European heatwaves have occurred more regularly and are hotter than in previous years.
“Temperature changes this summer in Europe have been much larger than the annual average. Depending on what emissions we will have, I expect it could be two to four degrees warmer this century,” Furevik told the newspaper.
That would mean a summer heatwave could potentially be 12 degrees warmer than now, he added.
“It is a combination of warming and lack of rain that could be particularly catastrophic for agriculture. We have already seen the consequences for agriculture this summer with farmland drying out and crops failing,” he said.
Meteorologist Bjart Eriksen also said that 40-degrees temperatures were a possibility for future Norwegian summers.
“It is clear that when global warming is increasing and we are not good enough at tackling problems with emissions, 40 degrees is possible in the long term,” Eriksen told Dagbladet .
But other researchers said that such high temperatures were unlikely in our lifetimes.
“Climate change and global warming can affect maximum temperatures and Norway will get warmer on average, but there is probably a very small chance that we will get 40 degrees. That would require a lot as that is very strong sunshine and we don’t have that here,” Erik Kolstad, a climate researcher at Uni Research and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research told Dagbladet.