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Average temperature in Finland up by one degree in one hundred years

Long-term progress:
Within the last hundred years, the average temperature has risen by one degree in Finland.
Short-term progress:
The average temperature has risen particularly rapidly over the last 20 years.
Progress in relation to targets:
A two-degree increase in global average temperature will be difficult to avoid. In Finland, the temperature is clearly rising at a faster pace.

Trend in average temperatures in Finland 1847–2014

Average temperature in Finland
Average temperatures for Finland are based on data from four observation stations: Kaisaniemi in Helsinki, Kuopio airport, Kajaani airport and Oulu airport. Source: Finnish Meteorological Institute. 2015.

Effects already visible

Over the last one hundred years, the average temperature has increased by approximately one degree in Finland. Warming has been most intense in springtime: almost two degrees for the March–May period. Summers and autumns are less than one degree warmer, and winters less than half a degree. Observed variations in other climate features, such as precipitation, are not statistically significant enough to denote a long-term change.

Rising temperatures are affecting Finnish nature in various ways; river, lake and sea ice break up earlier, birds migrate to Finland earlier in the spring, and butterfly species spread farther north than before.

One of the longest series of climate records based on direct observations has been gathered from the Torne River in Finland. Records of the ice break up on the river date back to 1693 and they show that the ice now breaks up around two weeks earlier than in those days.

Finland’s climate is warming, mainly due to global climate change. On average, the global temperature has risen by 0.74 degrees since the early 1900s. The European Union and the G8 countries aim to restrict global warming to two degrees, which is considered the threshold for dangerous changes.

At present, it seems almost impossible that this target will be achieved. Published in autumn 2013, the 5th assessment report of the IPCC states that if greenhouse gas emissions increase at their current pace, the result will be a 3 to 5 degree rise in the global average temperature from the already warmer levels of past decades, by 2100. If a rapid fall in emissions could be achieved around 2020, the temperature would rise about one degree from current levels.

In December 2015 there will be UNs conference on climate change in Paris, France. The expected outcome there is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C.

Sources:

  • Finnish Meteorological Institute. 2015.
  • IPCC 2013 Fifth Assessment Report. Climate Change 2013.

 

 

 

Published 2015-11-20 at 11:07, updated 2016-08-24 at 13:30

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