‘In fair weather, prepare for foul’ / Columns / The Foreigner

‘In fair weather, prepare for foul’. Thomas Fuller had a point. Easter holidaymakers in southern Norway are basking in the sunshine, whilst people are losing their lives in the north. Weather is in the news in Norway. There is a huge temperature difference from this time last year, plus avalanche warnings for the hills. Does this make the weather topsy-turvy? The extremes do seem to be getting worse across Norway and the weather appears to be more unstable. Simultaneously, we are burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate.

norwayweather, norwayclimate, climatechange, greenhousegases, co2



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‘In fair weather, prepare for foul’

Published on Saturday, 30th March, 2013 at 11:00 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last Updated on 30th March 2013 at 11:11.

Thomas Fuller had a point. Easter holidaymakers in southern Norway are basking in the sunshine, whilst people are losing their lives in the north.

The flowers came up too early!
The flowers came up too early!
Photo: Ilan Kelman


Weather is in the news in Norway. There is a huge temperature difference from this time last year, plus avalanche warnings for the hills. Does this make the weather topsy-turvy?

The extremes do seem to be getting worse across Norway and the weather appears to be more unstable. Simultaneously, we are burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate.

There is no doubt that climate change caused by our actions is affecting the environment. We are heading into a climate regime which humanity has never before experienced.

Permafrost is expected to melt in the Arctic. Sea level is projected to rise to a level which could threaten coastal infrastructure. The Arctic Ocean will have much less sea ice than before.

These changes to the climate (long-term trends) definitely affect the weather (short-term trends). We will experience impacts from both the weather and the longer-term changes, in Norway and around the world.

Some claim that the changes will be advantageous. They want warmer winters. Yet they do not realise that temperature extremes are likely to increase in all seasons. They want an ice-free Arctic Ocean for shipping, yet do not realise that many storms might worsen.

Even if some changes are positive, there will still be immense costs to bear across Norway.

Because simultaneously with a climate regime which is new for humanity, we have a society and technology which humanity has never before experienced.

While humanity has never been immune to severe weather and climate impacts, we have created many vulnerabilities, which climate change will expose further than they are already.

More extreme snowfall will continue to close airports and ground flights. Changes in permafrost, sea-level, and erosion will damage infrastructure. Floods will continue to undermine roads and railways. Increased humidity will damage historic structures.

Is this topsy-turvy, or just trends that increase extremes which we already experience? It does not matter. The changes to the climate which we are causing end up hurting ourselves most.

Dr. Ilan Kelman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).




Published on Saturday, 30th March, 2013 at 11:00 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last updated on 30th March 2013 at 11:11.

This post has the following tags: norwayweather, norwayclimate, climatechange, greenhousegases, co2.





  
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