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Scientists say 2020 was exceptionally warm in Finland

Climate change and ice-free Arctic seas are contributing to milder temperatures in Finland.

Ilulissat-vuonon jäävuoria Grönlannissa
The melting of Arctic ice has an effect on temperatures in Finland. Image: Juha Kivioja / Yle

The year 2020 has been unusually warm in Finland, according to meteorologists.

This summer, June saw the highest number of days of temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius (the so-called heat threshold in Finland) since the country began keeping digital records. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), some parts of Finland experienced a total of 21 days of 25-degree-or warmer weather and noted that June 1999 was the last time forecasters measured as many hot days in the first month of summer.

Finland also recorded its highest November temperature this year, with 14.7 degrees Celsius recorded in Pori, according to the FMI.

Meanwhile this year's highest temperature came in at 33.5 degrees Celsius on 25 June in the village of Niinisalo in western Finland. The country's all-time high temperature of 37.2 degrees Celsius was recorded in North Karelia in July 2010.

Ice-free seas in the Arctic affect the weather too

Finland's temperatures are the sum of many factors that have been increasingly affected by climate change in recent years. Among other things, global warming has contributed to a record-long ice-free season in the Arctic Ocean. This also affects the weather in Finland.

The Arctic regions, which also include Finland, have warmed twice as much as the rest of the global average. The higher the latitude in Finland, the faster the warming has been, according to scientists.

On average, the Earth has warmed by just over one degree since the pre-industrial period of the mid-1800s.

Recent months have also been exceptionally warm in Siberia, where November temperatures have been up to 20 degrees higher than usual in some areas.

According to Mika Rantanen, researcher at FMI, the warmer air currents from Siberia will mean temperatures in Finland will also be milder than usual.

The record-highs in Siberia can be partly explained by warmer water in the North Atlantic being pushed into the northern seas. According to researchers, the warm Gulf Stream is moving further north.

The World Meteorological Organization has said 2020 is likely to be the warmest year worldwide.

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