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

Arctic Glacial Dust May Affect Climate and Health in North America and Europe

ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2010)

Residents of the southern United States and the Caribbean have seen it many times during the summer months — a whitish haze in the sky that seems to hang around for days. The resulting thin film of dust on their homes and cars actually is soil from the deserts of Africa, blown across the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, there is new evidence that similar dust storms in the arctic, possibly caused by receding glaciers, may be making similar deposits in northern Europe and North America, according to Joseph Prospero from the University of Miami in a February 19 presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Our recent work in Iceland has shown that most of the dust events there are associated with dust emitted from glacial outwash deposits, which may be carried into the northern latitudes and into Europe by synoptic weather events,” says Prospero, professor of marine and atmospheric chemistry at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, in his talk “Intercontinental Dust Transport: The Linkage to Climate and its Environmental Impact.”

Satellite data have shown large dust plumes in the arctic, but persistent cloud cover has made finding the origins difficult. The glaciers have been retreating in Iceland for decades, and the trend is expected to continue with the changing climate. Prospero predicts that dust activity from the newly exposed glacial deposits will most likely increase in the future in Iceland and possibly from other glacial terrains in the Arctic.

Prospero’s lifelong work has been to measure the effects of airborne dust. Since 1965, he and his colleagues have been measuring dust particles in Barbados, West Indies, thus creating the longest dust measurement data set in science. They found that dust transport increased greatly during the late 1960s and early 1970s at the same time as a severe drought in Northern Africa.

“The first 30 years of the dust record showed a strong relationship between dust transport across the ocean to rainfall amounts in the Sahel and Soudan regions of Africa,” says Prospero. “It’s important to note that the level of dust transport is not necessarily related directly to rainfall but possibly to other climate factors associated with the variability of rainfall.”

Some of the most intense periods dust transport are associated with strong El Nino events, which may affect such factors as wind speeds and variability as well as rainfall — the same factors that affect dust mobilization and transport. However, since the late 1990s, the pattern of drought and dust transport has been disrupted — dust transport rates were actually greater than what Prospero’s earlier model would indicate.

“We still have work to do to understand the fundamental processes and relationship between climate, rainfall, and dust transport,” says Prospero. “Predicting the long-term effects of climate and dust transport is exacerbated by the fact that many of the climate prediction models for lower latitude Africa are not consistent.”

Also needing more study is whether the dust particles pose any health threat to the people below. More than half of the particles in the dust mass transported over the Atlantic to the Americas is smaller than 2.5 microns, defined as “respirable particles” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Over the Caribbean region, the atmospheric concentration of fine dust particles frequently is within the range of and sometimes exceeds the US EPA’s standards for respirable particles.

“Although to date there is no strong evidence that African dust constitutes a health hazard, this possible impact would seem to warrant study especially since some climate change projections show increased dust transport in the future,” concludes Prospero.

Prospero is a panelist in a symposium called “Dust in the Earth System,” which will examine dust and its effects in the Earth system while considering societal impact at the local and global levels by exchanging information, ideas, and perspectives across diverse disciplines.

Story Source:
Adapted from materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, viaEurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Original article here

Arctic cold over the North

Arctic weather has settled over Northern Norway, and the cold, drifitng snow and icy winds have created problems for traffic on both land and sea as well as in the air in the counties of Finnmark and Troms.In the low temperatures both ferries and passenger boats quickly ice down, resulting in cancellations.

Driving conditions are difficult, and several roads are open only to convoys.

The cold weather is moving south along the coast during the weekend.


Rolleiv Solholm

Varsler ekstremvær i nord

Ekstremværet «Ask» nærmer seg norskekysten. Tirsdag vil sterk storm, 30 meter i sekundet, slå inn over Nord-Norge.

Storm  (Foto: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix)Full storm med bølger som slår mot en molo på Trøndelagskysten. Foto: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix

– Høytrykksituasjonen er forbi i hele landet nå, og denne stormen vil gi en skiftende værtype i tiden fremover, sier Statsmeteorolog Arild Mentzoni til NRK.no.

Arild Mentzoni (Anne Liv Ekroll/NRK)Statsmeteorolog Arild Mentzoni. Anne Liv Ekroll/NRK

Ekstremt vær

Meteorologisk institutt melder at et kraftig lavtrykk i Norskehavet vil gi svært sterk sørvestlig vind i hele Nord-Norge..

– Vi kaller det ekstremvær når vinden overskrider full storm. Vi sender ut ekstremværvarsel for å forberede lokalmyndighetene og redningstjeneste på å møte det som måtte komme av skader, og for at de kan forebygge skader, sier Arild Mentzoni.

LES: Liste over norske ekstremvær

Sterk storm

– Tirsdag ettermiddag og kveld ventes det sørvestlig full storm, 25 meter i sekundet, i Nordland, Troms og Vest-Finnmark. Utsatte steder kan vinden komme opp i 30 sekundmeter, og dermed gi sterk storm, sier statsmeteorologen.

I tillegg kan de komme vindkast som er enda sterkere enn dette. Det er ofte i disse vindkastene skader på bygninger og natur forekommer.

– Utover kvelden og hele natta flytter stormen seg mot Øst-Finnmark som også kan vente seg søvestlig full storm. Også her vil det være sterk storm utsatte steder. Vinden vil minke utover onsdag morgen, sier Mentzoni.

Også i Trøndelag og på Nord-Vestlandet vil det blåse en del tirsdag ettermiddag og kveld, men vindstyrken vil ikke komme opp på ekstremværnivå. I Trøndelag vil det trolig blåse opp til liten storm.

Sjekk været der du er, på Yr.no.

– Hold deg inne

– Når det er såpass mye vind bør man definitivt ikke være ute eller oppsøke de mest utsatte stedene. Det er rett og slett farlig vær, sier statsmeteorolog Bård Fjukstad ved Meteorologisk institutt til NTB.

Han oppfordrer også folk til å surre fast løse gjenstande som står ute eller få tingene inn i hus.

– Folk må også være forberedt på at uværet kan påvirke offentlig transport som hurtigbåter og ferjer, sier Fjukstad.

Mildere i hele landet

Det vil bli forbigående mildere over hele landet. Og vi kan vente oss snø og sludd langs hele kysten.

– Men onsdag vil vinteren fortsette og det blir det igjen kaldere i hele Norge, sier Mentzoni.

LES OGSÅ: De årene det var så kaldt


Heavy snow and high winds expected in southern Kamchatka

Via Circumpolar Musings: (Regnum.ru with aid from Google Translate, 20 January 2010) — Southern Kamchatka is under a weather advisory for the period 21-23 January. Meteorologists are expecting snow and blizzards with visibility reduced to 500m and winds gusting to 60 km/h. The press service of the Far Eastern Regional Center of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia warns of increased risk of avalanches in the mountains during the same period. Local officials are preparing to respond to disruptions of some essential services, and the possibility of damage to heating and electrical infrastructure. In addition, billboards, awnings, electricity and power wires could be damaged by strong gusts of wind. Ships in coastal areas, too, are being cautioned.

Original article here
Google translation here