Warmest spring in 80 years on Russia’s Kola Peninsula

Spring came early this year in the town Nikel on the border to Norway. (Trude Pettersen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Spring came early this year in the town Nikel on the border to Norway. (Trude Pettersen/The Independent Barents Observer)
On the Kola Peninsula, the spring of 2016 was the warmest since 1936, with an average temperature of 4.1°C above normal in April and May.

The weather in May was more like it normally is in June, the Murmansk-based online newspaper SeverPost writes.

When it comes to Russia as a whole, the overall average temperature in the months of March, April and May was the third highest since 1891. Only 2014 and 2011 were warmer the Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia reports.

Average temperatures in Russian Arctic regions, especially in the western parts like Novaya Zemlya and islands in the Barents Sea and Kara Sea, were 4-8°C above normal.

Barents weather

As Barents Observer reported, spring started considerably earlier this year all over the Barents region, following a winter with significant higher temperatures than normal. For example was the average temperature in Kirkenes on Norway’s Barents Sea coast more than 5°C over the norm in May.

Data published by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) earlier this month shows that average Arctic sea ice extent for May was just 12 million square kilometers. This is well over a million square kilometers below the average for the month.

This is also more than half a million square kilometers smaller than in May 2012, the year that had the lowest ever September extent in the satellite record.

In the White Sea, the ice disappeared 10-20 earlier than normal, and in the Barents Sea, the ice cover was below the norm by 40% in the month of May. All along the western and central parts of the Northern Sea Route, the ice was thinner than usual – some places more than half a meter thinner than the norm, the Hydrometeorological Centre writes.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Greening of Arctic, browning of boreal forest, Radio Canada International

Finland: Will climate change remove dry land between Finland and Sweden?, Yle News

Greenland: New model predicts flow of Greenland’s glaciers, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway:  John Kerry to visit Arctic Norway to witness climate impacts, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  Ancient virus found in Arctic permafrost, Alaska Dispatch News

Sweden:  How will global warming affect the average Swede?, Radio Sweden

United States: NASA projects tracking changes in Alaska’s glaciers and Arctic atmosphere, Alaska Dispatch News


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