Climate Change

Temperature and precipitation are projected to increase more in high-latitude regions such as Sweden than in the rest of Europe[1,2]. By the end of this century the annual average temperature is projected to be 2-6 °C higher than for the period 1961-1990, while the average annual precipitation is projected to increase by 10-40%[3]. Both temperature and precipitation are expected to increase during all seasons, with the strongest increase in northern Sweden during winter. Extreme short-term precipitation events (in particular short torrential showers) are projected to become more intensive[3]. Due to the fact that high-latitude ecosystems have adapted to low natural energy flows, they are relatively more sensitive to a given shift in climate, physical and biogeochemical conditions, which could intensify regional and seasonal environmental responses[4].


Figure: Overview of seasonal precipitation-temperature relationships under present (1981-2010, blue) and future (2061-2090, orange) conditions for a study site in northern Sweden. Observations are displayed as black dots connected with a continuous line.


[1] IPCC (2014), Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by T. F. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S. K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, J. Xia, V. Bex, and P. M. Midgley, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, USA.

[2] Jacob, D. et al. (2014), EURO-CORDEX: new high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research, Reg Environ Change, 14(2), 563–578, doi:10.1007/s10113-013-0499-2.

[3] Sjökvist, E. et al. (2015), Klimatscenarier för Sverige (en: “Climate scenarios for Sweden”), Klimatologi (Climatology), Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Norrköping, Sweden.

[4] Roots, E. F. (1989), Climate change: High-latitude regions, Climatic Change, 15(1), 223–253, doi:10.1007/BF00138853.