Environment at Risk as Lapland Warms Quickly


Photo: Thomas Nilsen

The Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) says many species may disappear due to rising temperatures over the next few decades.

According to the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), the average annual temperature in Lapland, Finland, could rise by many degrees within one generation. As a result, it will have a negative impact on nature and local livelihoods.

The Finnish Institute made the assessment based on a long-term analysis of temperatures in the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian parts of Lapland.

According to it, Lapland will warm by up to 2-3 degrees Celsius over the next half century compared to its current state, i.e. 4-5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial period, unless additional measures are taken.

Lapland’s winters are starting later and becoming milder, causing difficulties for many livelihoods, such as reindeer husbandry, nature tourism and construction, Syke says.

Temperatures rise and lead to changes in natural habitats. For example, palsa mires and permafrost melt. Lapland’s territories become bushy and grassy. Therefore, more and more northern animal species will become endangered, and some may even disappear soon.

The darkening and eutrophication of the waters, as well as the spread of alien species such as fox, humpback (pink) salmon and giant hogweed in the area, further worsens the plight of these animals.

According to the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), the temperature rise may be limited to 3–4 degrees if all countries in the world impose new, strict and comprehensive restrictions on energy production, transport, construction, food production and consumption.

Source: The Barents Observer



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