Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The first decade of the 2000s warmer than the preceding decades in Finland

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s statistics, the first decade of the 2000s (2001–2010) was the warmest decade in the history of Finland’s temperature measurements, which began in the 1840s. The mean temperature for the past ten years in Finland was about 0.3° C higher than that for the 1930s, the next warmest decade.

The difference between the mean temperature for the past decade and the mean temperature for the reference period 1971–2000 is greater in Northern Finland than in Southern Finland. Generally, the mean temperature is 0.5–1° C higher than during the reference period. However, in many places in Lapland, the mean temperature is 1–1.5° C higher than during the reference period.

Winters have warmed up the most
When the first decade of the 2000s is examined by seasons, the temperatures for all seasons are among the two warmest within the past 160 years.

When the decade is compared against the climate prevailing in 1971–2000, the greatest difference is seen in the mean temperatures of winters, i.e. the periods from December to February. In Lapland, the mean temperature of the winters in 2001–2010 was over 1.5 degrees higher than normally. Elsewhere in the country as well, the difference was 0.5–1.5 degrees. The winters were unusually mild especially in 2006–2009, and the winter of 2007–2008 was the mildest during Finland’s entire measurement history. During the past decade, only the winters of 2002–2003 and 2009–2010 were colder than average. Both were unusually cold when compared against the period 1971–2000.

The mean temperatures of other seasons have also risen when compared against the average for 1971–2000, but not as much as winter temperatures. For instance, the mean temperature of summers in 2001–2010 was 0.5–1° C higher than the average for 1971–2000 in virtually all of Finland.

More rains in winter
There was no significant difference between precipitation for the first decade of the 2000s and the average for 1971–2000. When precipitation figures for the various seasons are compared to the average precipitation in 1971–2000, precipitation during winters and sometimes during springs has been greater than during the reference period, while precipitation during autumns has remained below the average.

Source: Reprinted news release via Finnish Meteorological Institute