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Finnish cities among fastest-warming in Europe as summer UV levels spike

Climate change is warming Lappeenranta, eastern Finland, faster than almost any other European city, while ultraviolet radiation hit a 20-year peak this year.

Auringonottaja Solvikin uimarannalla.
UV radiation in Finland reached its highest level in 20 years this past summer. Image: Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva
Yle News

This past summer was a record-breaking one in Finland. Now new data compiled by a European journalism group shows Finland featuring prominently in the region's shifting climate.

Four cities in Finland are among the top 10 fastest-warming regions in Europe, according to figures collected by the European Data Journalism Network (EDJN).

Weather data gathered from 558 European locations since the year 1900 show that the annual mean temperature in the city of Lappeenranta in eastern Finland has risen by three degrees Celsius.

The only place in Europe to warm faster is the municipality of Kiruna in northern Sweden, at 3.4 degrees Celsius. Annual mean temperatures in Europe have risen the most in the Nordic countries, the data revealed.

Temperatures in the past century have gone up by 2.9 degrees in Kouvola, 2.8 degrees in Joensuu and 2.5 degrees in Vaasa.

Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Radio reported the comparative statistics on Monday.

Blazing summer sends UV sky-high

Also on Monday, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) reported that the summer of 2018 will be remembered not only for an unusually long warm spell, but also for bathing the country in the highest level of ultraviolet radiation recorded in two decades.

The UV index rose to 6.0 on a scale of 0-10 on 12 separate days in southern Finland, compared with just five high-radiation days in 2017. The period of high radiation lasted from mid-June to early August, accumulating an average of 14 percent more UV radiation since measurements began in 1995, the FMI reports.

The highest UV index score ever recorded in Finland is from June 2011, when the index briefly spiked at 6.7 on the scale.

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