Looking for a specific product?

Make a search for products & suppliers, articles & news.

Climate change to lengthen growing season

Scientists expect the global mean temperature to rise in the future. One consequence is that by the end of this century, Norwegian farmers could be growing their crops for up to two months longer. In areas of higher elevation, in fact, the difference could turn out to be three months. The growing season is defined as the number of days with an average temperature of at least 5°C.

Photo: Shutterstock Across much of Norway, the agricultural growing season could become up to two months longer due to climate change. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Exploiting a warmer climate

A warmer climate would open up several exciting opportunities for Norwegian agriculture. Thermophilic (warm-weather) crops could be cultivated farther north, and multiple harvests may be possible each summer, as is common at more southerly latitudes.

“Since the climate is likely becoming warmer, Norwegian farmers should take advantage of the new opportunities this entails,” says meteorologist Inger Hanssen-Bauer. She headed some important parts of a research project on Norway’s future climate, which received funding under the Research Council of Norway’s Large-scale Programme on Climate Change and its Impacts in Norway (NORKLIMA).

More tree diversity and more storage of CO2

The project describes a number of interesting developments that may occur if climate change continues on its present course. Not only is a longer growing season for agriculture expected, but also more forest growth. The tree line will advance even further north, and Norway’s most common tree species, the Norway spruce, will have to compete more with deciduous trees such as oak, beech and ash.

Photo: Bård Gudim / Meteorologisk institutt Norwegian farmers should take advantage of the new opportunities a warmer climate entails,” says meteorologist Inger Hanssen-Bauer. (Photo: Bård Gudim / Meteorologisk institutt) “This will allow forest managers to think along new lines,” says Dr Hanssen-Bauer.

More forest growth will also bind more CO2 – so the forests of Norway, Sweden and Finland could store even greater amounts of global carbon dioxide emissions.

But a warmer climate would also have some negative impacts for Norway’s forests. For instance, insect pests such as ticks would range across larger swaths of the country, and several new wood-decaying fungi could be invading Norwegian forests.

Challenges for farmers

Agriculture would also face some major challenges: as the growing season begins earlier and earlier, the risk of frost damage increases. And it is not clear what needs to be done to ensure that plants thrive through the entirety of the longer growing season.

“A warmer climate means the growing season extends longer into the autumn,” points out Dr Bauer-Hanssen. “But near the end of the season, the weak daylight here in the north would be a limiting factor. Plants stop growing without enough light, even if the climate is warm.”

The NORKLIMA programme
Funding has been allocated under the NORKLIMA programme to several projects that have produced new basic knowledge about the earth’s climate. Two major nationally-coordinated projects – RegClim (1997-2006) and NorClim (2007-2011) – have generated valuable new knowledge about regional climate in Norway as well as the climate of the North Atlantic Ocean. The NorClim project has contributed a number of valuable findings for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, to be published in 2013.

 

 

Related news

Latest news

Energy recovery plant decided at Elkem Salten

This is an attractive and important project for Elkem.

Exciting days in Brussels

AKVA group has already welcomed many visitors to its stand at Seafood Global Expo in Brussels.

DNV GL develops offshore safety guidance for Greek Regulator

The offshore major hazards guidance was presented..

Visit at Fiskaa from the Chinese ambassador to Norway

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China,

New emission rules 2020 - the reliable way to prove compliance

Reducing ship emissions is a top priority for IMO

United Technologies Opens State-of-the-Art Innovation Center, Announces Plan to Create 100 Additional Jobs

Employees working in the building today-

US Army Corps’ first F-10000 Davit

With space onboard Yaquina for davit operations limited, 

Chairman of IACS pinpoints three key themes of the Association’s strategy for the future

Commenting on the publication of the 2017 Annual Review, 

DNV GL launches alternative fuels white paper

For newbuilding vessels,