Wilder weather in Northern Norway from climate change

(Barents Observer, 11 May 2010)
Northern Norway should start preparing for a warmer, wilder and wetter climate, researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute say. A new report from the institute concludes that climate changes in the High North are proceeding quicker than previously anticipated and that they will be felt by “everybody in the region”. According to the report, which is part of the NorACIA project, temperatures at Svalbard will in the next 90 years increase 9 degrees, while the northern parts of the Norwegian mainland will see a 2–2,5 degree temperature increase. -Humans, animals and nature will feel the changes, and society planners should consider carefully where to build houses, Ellen Øseth, adviser at Polar Institute, told newspaper Aftenposten. -The only thing we are sure about is that the changes will be felt by everybody, she adds. The warmer water in the Arctic seas will attract new fish stocks to the region. While the cod over the next 100 years might have moved from Norwegian to Russian waters, the mackerel will increasingly like it in the region. Also industrial activities will seek towards the region as the ice contracts, the researchers say. The NorACIA report is based on findings from more than 100 Norwegian and international researchers. It is the last of five reports, which all are part of the Norwegian contribution in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). The Norwegian Polar Institute has had the secretariat for the international project, which has been going on since 2005.

Barents Observer
Original article here

Population growth in northern Norway

Barents Observer 2010-02-19

Northern NorwayIn 2009 northern Norway experienced the highest population growth since 1974. For 35 years northern Norway has had a steady decline in population, but last year the population grew with 2196.

It is the three northernmost counties of Norway, Nordland, Troms and Finmark, which is defined as northern Norway. This is the most scarcely populated areas of Norway, and there has been a steady decline in population through since the mid 70ties.

The latest population countings from Statistics Norway states that the negative demographic trend is beginning to turn. With the 2196 new northern citizens, there were a total of 465.621 people living in the three northernmost counties on January 1st 2010. The largest county is Nordland with 236.271 inhabitants, while there are 156.494 inhabitants in Troms and 72.856 inhabitants in Finnmark. All three counties had a population growth in 2009, and an important part of the growth is that the birth rate is also growing considerably.

However, it is the most populated municipalities and the city centers which count for most of the population growth. Still the smaller remote communities suffer from depopulation.

Original article here.