March will be the one hundredth consecutive month with temperatures above the normal in Svalbard according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Even though the month of March this year has been relatively cold, according to the meteorologists, the month will probably add to the range of high monthly temperatures.
Observations at Svalbard airport show that the temperature on average has increased by 5.6 degrees since 1961. By comparison, the temperature at Blindern in Oslo has increased by 2 degrees during the same period.
‘’It is unique and shows how quickly the climate changes occur in the Arctic’’ said climate scientist, Ketil Isaksen, at the Meteorological Institute.
‘’Some months the temperature in the area around Longyearbyen has been 12–14 degrees above normal. Many remember the dry summer in eastern Norway last year, and by comparison, the temperature was then “just” 3.2 degrees above normal at Blindern said Isaksen.
The Meteorological Institute pointed out that Isfjorden in Svalbard no longer lives up to its name, with several ice-free winters in the past ten years.
Climate change has contributed to the permafrost having begun to thaw, which among other things leads to increased avalanche risk.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today