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The Northern Climate Observer


Seasonal Change - January has brought persistent cold to much of the North. A pleasant surprise after months of above average temperatures and record heat. It is a reminder of what winter is supposed to be like, and to youngsters who have not experienced a real winter, what real cold means. However, in Northern Europe winter has yet to arrive, and the confusing warmth is causing honey bees to awaken in Norway, and flower to bloom in Finland. Perhaps a common thread has been the consistency of the temperatures (persistent warm or persistent cold) rather then the see-saw of freeze and thaw that have characterized many recent winters. When this happens, the combination of rain and snow make conditions particularly challenging. In this edition, see the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation article about how ground ice is forcing reindeer to descend from the mountains in search of food. Mike Brubaker Editor

Turku, Southwest Finland, Finland
Yle Uutiset / January 28, 2020

According to Simo Laine, head horticulturalist at botanical garden in Turku, southwest Finland, it could well be the first time that the blooms have made an appearance in the country as early as January.

Read article on Yle Uutiset



Oslo, Norway
Tiril Mettesdatter Solvang, Kirsti Haga Honningsøy / NRK / January 26, 2020

The birds are singing, the flowers are germinating and the snow is not visible. January is record-breaking in several places in the country and Oslo sets a new snow-free record.

Read article on NRK



Revetal, Vestfold, Norway
Linn Udnes, Hege Therese Holtung, Magnus Skatvedt Iversen / NRK / January 24, 2020

During the first weeks of the year, the beekeeper from Tønsberg has registered that several bees have flowed out of the cube. It really shouldn't happen until March.

Read in English

Read article on NRK



Hovden, Aust-Agder, Norway
Erik Wiig Andersen / NRK / January 25, 2020

Icy conditions in the mountains have caused wild reindeer to descend towards the hut areas to find food. In several places ski areas are now closed to prevent the reindeer from being disturbed.

Read article on NRK



Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Tess Williams / Anchorage Daily News / January 20, 2020

January has so far been colder than average and the trend is expected to continue, breaking the 22-month trend of consecutively warmer-than-normal monthly temperatures.

Read article on Anchorage Daily News



Haines, Alaska, United States
Abbey Collins / Alaska Public Media / January 27, 2020

As of Sunday nearly 60 inches of snow fell in Haines in the last 8 days. That total was higher in some parts of town and more snow is in the forecast.

Read article on Alaska Public Media



Selawik, Alaska, United States
Wesley Early / KOTZ Radio 720 AM / January 23, 2020

Mayor Clyde Ramoth says frozen pipes are a chronic problem due to issues with the initial installation of the above-ground water system. The warming climate isn’t making things any easier.

Read article on KOTZ Radio 720 AM



Petersburg, Alaska, United States
Mandy Lindeberg / LEO Network / January 17, 2020

Luck was against these young cockles, which were likely washed up on to the beach during a storm and did not survive the cold air temperatures during low tide.

Read post on the LEO Network



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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