Nordic countries have experience an intense heatwave recently. In this photo a woman sits in water on Oland Island, Sweden, during a record-breaking heatwave in 2018. Photo: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Lapland, the most northerly part of Finland known for its deep winters, has recorded its hottest temperature in more than 100 years.
It reached 33.6 degrees celsius (or 92.5 Fahrenheit) at a weather station at Kevo near the border with Norway on Sunday. That’s the highest temperature recorded in Lapland, which lies within the Arctic Circle, since 1914, when it reached 34.7 degrees celsius.
Nordic countries are experiencing an intense heatwave, with new records set in both Norway and Sweden. In Banak in Norway, it reached 34.3 degrees celsius.
It’s difficult to tie individual weather patterns to the climate crisis, but scientists say extreme weather events are increasing in number and intensity due to global warming.
In Canada, a heatwave was linked to hundreds of deaths over a five-day period of unbearable heat. Last month, Siberia reported a record temperature of 47 degrees, according to the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme.
“[This will get worse], unless we take urgent action to stay on course to meet the 1.5°C goal outlined in the Paris Agreement to avoid the worst-case climate scenarios,” said Juha Aromaa, the deputy programme manager of Greenpeace Nordic in Finland. “We must end our use of fossil fuels now to halt the global heating that fuels wildfires.”
Aromaa said record temperatures in Nordic countries were a clear example of extreme weather events made more frequent due to climate change.
“Fossil-fuel driven climate change is contributing to an increase in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves as well as driving the conditions for bigger and faster-growing wildfires,” Aromaa said. “We should be worried.”