I t is common knowledge today, that greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow globally. One prediction, for example, is that global temperatures will rise by some 1,5 to 3 degrees Celsius. This change is also expected to occur in the Nordic region.
Expert analysis was conducted on the potential risks around climate change, looking across the coming decades with respect to different energy systems. From wind to nuclear power, the research provided some important learnings on what life will look like in the Nordics and what needs to be done to secure its energy system.
Changes in the weather system
Some issues of particular importance to the energy sector, that were uncovered by the study, noted changes in wind and large-scale atmospheric circulation. Researchers also foresee an increased risk of stationary weather conditions, specifically high-pressure situations with little wind, or situations where multiple low-pressure fronts are sustained for longer periods of time. This may have consequences for electricity generation by wind farms primarily constructed in the northern part of Sweden.
Other changes that are expected include further variations in wind speeds (including mean winds and storms) and alterations in the amount of precipitation. Hydrological changes, both in frequency and intensity, are expected locally and regionally. This will include the growing distribution of rain and snow, as well as the increased amount of rainfall.
Similarly, an expected increase in the frequency and intensity of thunder, hail, as well as extreme weather events will continue. Researchers also noted that weather events with a very long return period (> several hundred years) will become more common as will Compound Events, where several weather events will occur at the same time and interact.
Energy sector braces for change
Sweden also belongs to the Arctic Region, together with Iceland, Norway and Finland. In this area, the climate is expected to change at a faster pace than elsewhere in the world.
According to Erik Kjellström, SMHI, there will be major changes in the Nordic climate. These will include higher temperatures for all seasons, with a longer summer season and shorter winters. Also, increased precipitation is expected, while there will be less sea ice during the winter.