Norway unprepared for climate change / News / The Foreigner

Norway unprepared for climate change. Norway’s infrastructure will not be able to tackle higher water levels due to future climate change, according to a new report. The expert panel fears today’s maintenance lag will be tomorrow’s financial and health headache. “[Our] natural environment, buildings, and infrastructure are particularly vulnerable to climate change. We currently have major maintenance lags for water and sewerage, structural, the roads, and railways. We are not even adapted to today’s climate,” says Oddvar Flæte, head of the panel and County Councillor for Sogn og Fjordane. Wetter weather will threaten power supplies and cause major transport disruptions. The panel claims a 2-4 degree temperature increase by the end of the century will result in more storms, severe flooding, and slides.

erik, solheim, environment, minister, climate, change, disease, illness, slides, flooding, severe, weather, international, panel, ipcc



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



News Article

LATEST:

Norway unprepared for climate change

Published on Thursday, 18th November, 2010 at 13:41 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 18th November 2010 at 14:31.

Norway’s infrastructure will not be able to tackle higher water levels due to future climate change, according to a new report. The expert panel fears today’s maintenance lag will be tomorrow’s financial and health headache.

River Bora, Vinje, Telemark, 2007 floods
River Bora, Vinje, Telemark, 2007 floods
Photo: A.B.Borgen, User:AnBor/Wikimedia Commons


Storms and diseases

“[Our] natural environment, buildings, and infrastructure are particularly vulnerable to climate change. We currently have major maintenance lags for water and sewerage, structural, the roads, and railways. We are not even adapted to today’s climate,” says Oddvar Flæte, head of the panel and County Councillor for Sogn og Fjordane.

Wetter weather will threaten power supplies and cause major transport disruptions. The panel claims a 2-4 degree temperature increase by the end of the century will result in more storms, severe flooding, and slides.

“Their severity depends on how much the temperature increases,” Mr Flæte says.

There could also be increased health problems, though experts believe there is little risk of a major outbreak.

A warmer, wetter climate does mean more favourable conditions for mosquito and tick-borne infectious diseases, however.

Between 2002 and 2008, the number of reported Lyme disease cases increased from 103 to 346. According to the panel, the Asian tiger mosquito is spreading quickly in southern Europe, and can transmit at least 22 pathogenic viruses to humans, including Dengue Fever.

It is less likely that the disease will gain a foothold in Norway, but “there is an imminent risk that Dengue Fever could be established in Europe. This means more people may become infected when they travel abroad. Today’s climate means it is possible for the Asian tiger mosquito to establish itself in the outlying regions in Vestlandet, whilst it could become prevalent in large coastal parts from the Oslo Fjord area to southern parts of Nordland already by 2030, according to the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) calculations,” the report reads.

Allergies and infections

Over 20 percent, or approximately one million people, in Norway suffer from a pollen allergy.

Experts expect climate change will increase the length of the growing season. Those with allergies will be affected for more of the year. It could also mean that new species arrive in Norway, such as Common Ragweed.

The plant has expanded considerably in central Europe, can affect the nose and eyes badly, and may double the asthma rate compared with other allergies.

High levels of humidity also aggravate the disease. The panel believes this could lead to an increase in the number of sufferers, as well as the rate of respiratory complaints, including COLD (chronic obstructive lung disease), especially in southern Norway.

Inadequate drainage may also increase the risk of contracting an infection due to a decline in drinking water quality, according to the report. Norway’s water and sewerage pipes are already in a bad state of disrepair.

“Contamination due to drainage and overflow problems could cause several health problems. The most common are gastro-intestinal infections [as well as] other illnesses such as jaundice, caused by Hepatitis A.”

“We must take climate change seriously and start an offensive process of adjustment work . If we do not, it could result in the loss of valuable nature and pose a risk to life and [our] health,” concludes Mr Flæte.

The panel presented its report to Minister of the Environment Erik Solheim earlier this week.




Published on Thursday, 18th November, 2010 at 13:41 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 18th November 2010 at 14:31.

This post has the following tags: erik, solheim, environment, minister, climate, change, disease, illness, slides, flooding, severe, weather, international, panel, ipcc.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!