Record cold snap in Scandinavia: Nordic countries face freezing temperatures

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Extreme Temperatures in Scandinavian Countries: An Unprecedented Cold Wave

Severe cold weather is currently sweeping across Scandinavia, causing record low temperatures not seen in decades. In Sweden, the mercury plunged to -43.6°C, which represents the coldest temperature for a month of January since 1999, says Mattias Lind, meteorologist at the Swedish agency SMHI.

Severe Cold in Northern Europe: Temperatures Never Seen Since the 19th Century

Not only was Sweden affected by this cold wave with a new temperature record in Kvikkjokk-Årrenjarka, but all Nordic nations are also experiencing this rare climatic event. Finland recorded temperatures plunging to -38.7°C in the Lapland region to the north, while Enontekiö saw the thermometer drop to -42.1°C. Norway and Denmark are also facing the severe cold, with forecasts predicting a possible further drop in temperature.

Impacts on Daily Life and Transport

Citizens, although accustomed to harsh winters, must adapt to these unusual climatic conditions for the season. Some turn to ice fishing as an alternative activity, while others take the opportunity to indulge in cross-country skiing.

  • Adaptation of residents: Despite being accustomed to winter climate, the current extent of the cold forces unexpected adjustments.
  • Transportation impacts: Rail and highway systems are particularly affected, with vehicle blockages seen in Denmark and Sweden.
  • Call for caution: The authorities recommend limiting travel to avoid congestion and accidents on dangerously slippery roads.

Climate Change and Extreme Weather Phenomena

According to research from World Weather Attribution (WWA), the frequency and intensity of extreme cold events have declined globally due to climate change. However, Ben Clarke and Friederike Otto, associate researchers at WWA, temper by recalling that the natural variability of the climate still allows the appearance of such cold waves, even in a context of global warming. These cold episodes therefore do not contradict the broader phenomenon of global warming.

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