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Climate Change’s Mixed Effects in Northern Europe

66.7N 29.7E

June 4th, 2013 Category: Climate Change AVHRRMetOp

Northern Europe – June 1st, 2013

This image focuses on northern Europe, including parts of Finland, Norway, Sweden, northwestern Russia and Estonia. In northern Europe, climate change is initially projected to bring mixed effects, including some benefits such as reduced demand for heating, increased crop yields, and increased forest growth. However, as climate change continues, negative impacts are likely to outweigh benefits. These include more frequent winter floods, endangered ecosystems, and increasing ground instability (click here for more information).

Climate Change in Northern Europe

67.2N 27.6E

June 2nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Vegetation Index

Northern Europe – June 1st, 2013

Higher than average temperatures have been observed across Europe as well as decreasing precipitation in southern regions and increasing precipitation in northern Europe. Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts have caused rising damage costs across Europe in recent years.

While precipitation is decreasing in southern regions, it is increasing in northern Europe, and these trends are projected to continue. Climate change is projected to increase river flooding, particularly in northern Europe, as higher temperatures intensify the water cycle.

Many studies have measured widespread changes in plant and animal characteristics. For example, plants are flowering earlier in the year. Here, the vegetation index is stronger (dark green) to the south, and weaker (yellow) near the northern coastline, although it is mostly good throughout the image.

In freshwater, phytoplankton and zooplankton blooms are also appearing earlier. Other animals and plants are moving northward or uphill as their habitats warm. Since the migration rate of many species is insufficient to keep pace with the speed of climate change, they could be pushed towards extinction in the future.

Climate Change in the Arctic Region

70.4N 24.1E

May 23rd, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Sweden, Norway, Finland – May 23rd, 2013

The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment hass determined that climate change in the world’s Arctic areas is proceeding at a rate that is nearly double the rate of change at a global scale, affecting countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland. Climate change will increase sea surface temperatures and reduce the extent and thickness of sea ice in Arctic regions. These changes are expected to affect the movement, growth, habitat and reproduction of key commercial fish species. The agricultural sector is also at risk (click here for more information).

Conditions in Bothnian Sea, Finland and Sweden

60.5N 19.6E

February 15th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Finland – January 22nd, 2013

The Bothnian Sea is the southern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, which is situated between Sweden, to the West, Finland, to the East, and the Sea of Åland and Archipelago Sea to the South. The Bothnian Sea, with a surface area of approximately 79,000 km², occupies about one-fifth of the total of the Baltic Sea.

The Bothnian Sea is different from other sea areas of the Baltic Sea. On the whole it is good condition and its open sea is even in excellent condition. On the other hand, eutrophication, the ecosystem response of an aquatic system to the addition of artificial or natural substances, such as nitrates and phosphates through fertilizers or sewage, is threatening to increase, both in the open sea and near the coast. Eutrophication exemplifies the deterioration in the condition of the sea. Climate change, chemicalisation and changes in species also present challenges.

Island of Gotland and Vättern Lake, Sweden

57.8N 18.8E

February 21st, 2012 Category: Lakes

Sweden - December 29th, 2011

This wide-swath ASAR image shows Gotland (near right edge), Sweden’s largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. However, with its total area of 3,140 square kilometers, the island of Gotland and the other areas of the province of Gotland make up less than one percent of Sweden’s total land area.

The province of Gotland includes the small islands of Fårö and Gotska Sandön to the north and some tiny islands, including the Karlsö Islands (Lilla and Stora) to the west. The island of Gotland has an area of 2,994 km², whereas the province has 3,183.7 km² (3,151 km² of land excluding the lakes and rivers). Gotland is located about 90 km east of the Swedish mainland and about 130 km from the Baltic States, Latvia being the nearest.

Visible on the Swedish mainland near the left edge is Vättern, the second largest lake (by surface area) in Sweden, and the sixth largest lake in Europe. It is a long, finger-shaped body of fresh water in south central Sweden to the southeast of Vänern pointing at the tip of Scandinavia. The lake’s total surface area is about 1,912 km2 (738 sq mi), with a drainage basin a little over double that, about 4,503 km2 (1,739 sq mi). The deepest known point, located to the south of the island of Visingsö, is 128 meters (420 ft). The average depth is 41 meters (135 ft). The lake has a perimeter of about 642 km (399 mi). The volume is 77.0 km3 (18.5 cu mi). These numbers tend to be fixed, as the level of the lake is regulated.

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