Impact of climate change on agriculture in Northern Norway and potential strategies for adaptation

Abstract

This study evaluates the effects of climate change on agriculture in Northern Norway. It is based on downscaled climate projections for six different municipalities combined with interviews with farmers, advisors and administrative personnel in these municipalities. The projections document large climatic differences both between and within the different municipalities. The main predicted climatic changes include increasing temperatures and precipitation as well as increased frequency of certain types of extreme weather events. Despite challenges such as unstable winters, increased autumn precipitation and possibly more weeds and diseases, a prolongation of the current short growth season together with higher growth temperatures can give new opportunities for agriculture here. The impacts are expected to differ both within and between municipalities and will require tailored adaptive strategies. Most of these however should pose no difficulty implementing, having an agronomical basis that farmers are accustomed to cope with.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. ACIA (2005) Arctic climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  2. Alsos IG, Ehrich D, Thuiller W, Eidesen PB, Tribsch A, Schönswetter P, Lagaye C, Taberlet P, Brochmann C (2012) Genetic consequences of climate change for northern plants. Proc R Soc B. doi:10.1098/repb.2011.2363

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bélanger G, Rochette P, Gastonguay Y, Bootsma A, Mongrain D, Ryan D (2002) Climate change and winter survival of perennial forage crops in Eastern Canada. Agron J 94:1120–1130

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Beldring S, Engen-Skaugen T, Førland EJ, Roald LA (2008) Climate change impacts on hydrological processes in Norway based on two methods for transferring regional climate model results to meteorological station sites. Tellus A 60:439–450

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bindi M, Olesen JE (2011) The responses of agriculture in Europe to climate change. Reg Environ Chang 11(Suppl 1):151–158

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Callaghan TV, Johansson M, Brown RD, Groisman PY, Labba N, Radionov V, Barry RG, Bulygina ON, Essery RLH, Frolov DM, Golubev VN, Grenfell TC, Petrushina MN, Razuvaev VN, Robinson DA, Romanov P, Shindell D, Shmakin AB, Sokratov SA, Warren S, Yang D (2011) The changing face of arctic snow cover: a synthesis of observed and projected changes. AMBIO 40:17–31

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Carter TR (1998) Changes in the thermal growing season in Nordic countries during the past century and prospects for the future. Agr Food Sci Finl 7:391–399

    Google Scholar 

  8. Ciscar JC, Iglesias A, Feyen L, Szabó L, Van Regemorter D, Amelung B, Nicholls R, Watkiss P, Christensen OB, Dankers R, Garrote L, Goodess CM, Hunt A, Moreno A, Richards J, Soria A (2011) Physical and economic consequences of climate change in Europe. PNAS 108:2678–2683

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Engen-Skaugen T (2007) Refinement of dynamically downscaled precipitation and temperature scenarios. Climatic Change 84:365–382

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Evengård B, Sauerborn R (2009) Climate change and infectious diseases. Climate change influences infectious diseases both in the Arctic and the tropics: joining the dots. Glob Health Action 2:88–90

    Google Scholar 

  11. Falloon P, Betts R (2010) Climate impacts on European agriculture and water management in the context of adaptation and mitigation – The importance of an integrated approach. Sci Total Environ 408:5667–5687

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gay AP, Eagles CF (1991) Quantitative analysis of cold hardening and dehardening in Lolium. Ann Bot-London 67:339–345

    Google Scholar 

  13. Gray RG, Chauvin LP, Sarhan F, Huner NPA (1997) Cold acclimation and freezing tolerance. Plant Physiol 114:467–474

    Google Scholar 

  14. Gray JS, Dautel H, Estrada-Peña A, Kahl O, Lindgren E (2009) Effects of Climate Change on Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Europe. In: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases, vol. 2009, Article ID 593232, 12 pp

  15. Gudleifsson BE (2009) Ice encasement damage on grass crops and alpine plants in Iceland - Impact of climate change. In: Gusta LW, Wisniewski ME, Tanino KK (eds) Plant cold hardiness - From the Laboratory to the Field. CABI, p 163–172

  16. Hanssen-Bauer I, Førland EJ, Haugen JE, Tveito OE (2003) Temperature and precipitation scenarios for Norway. Comparison of results from dynamical and empirical downscaling. Clim Res 25:15–27

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hanssen-Bauer I, Hygen HO, Skaugen TE (2010) Climatic basis for vulnerability studies of the agricultural sector in selected municipalities in Northern Norway. Met.no report 19/2010 Climate

  18. Haugen JE, Iversen T (2008) Response in extremes of daily precipitation and wind from a downscaled multi-model ensemble of anthropogenic global climate change scenarios. Tellus A 60:411–426

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Howden SM, Soussana JF, Tubiello FN, Chhetri N, Dunlop M, Meinke H (2007) Adapting agriculture to climate change. PNAS 104:19691–19696

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Höglind M, Bakken AK, Jørgensen M, Østrem L (2010) Tolerance to frost and ice encasement in cultivars of timothy and perennial ryegrass during winter. Grass Forage Sci 65:431–445

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Iglesias A, Quiroga S, Moneo M, Garrote L (2012) From climate change impacts to the development of adaptation strategies: challenges for agriculture in Europe. Clim Chang 112:143–168

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. IPCC (2000) Special Report on Emission Scenarios. A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Nakocenovic N, Swart R (eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New YNY,USA

  23. IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Solomon SD, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New YNY,USA

  24. IPCC (2012) Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Field CB, Barros V, Stocker TF, Qin D, Dokken DJ, Ebi KL, Mastrandrea MD, Mach KJ, Plattner G-K, Allen SK, Tignor M, Midgley PM (eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA

  25. Jørgensen M, Østrem L, Höglind M (2010) De-hardening in contrasting cultivars of timothy and perennial ryegrass during winter and spring. Grass Forage Sci 65:38–48

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Kalberer SR, Wisniewski M, Arora R (2006) Deacclimation and reacclimation of cold-hardy plants: current understanding and emerging concepts. Plant Sci 171:3–16

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Karlsen SR, Solheim I, Beck PSA, Høgda KA, Wielgolaski FE, Tommervik H (2007) Variability of the start of the growing season in Fennoscandia, 1982–2002. Int J Biometeorol 51:513–524

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Karlsen SR, Tolvanen A, Kubin E, Poikolainen J, Høgda KA, Johansen B, Danks FS, Aspholm P, Wielgolaski FE, Makarova O (2008) MODIS-NDVI-based mapping of the length of the growing season in northern Fennoscandia. Int J Appl Earth Observ Geoinform 10:253–266

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Karlsen SR, Høgda KA, Wielgolaski FE, Tolvanen A, Tømmervik H, Poikolainen J, Kubin E (2009) Growing-season trends in Fennoscandia 1982-2006 determined from satellite and phenology data. Climate Res 39:275–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Kirwan L, Luscher A, Sebastia MT, Finn JA, Collins RP, Porqueddu C, Helgadottir A, Baadshaug OH, Brophy C, Coran C, Dalmannsdóttir S, Delgado I, Elgersma A, Fothergill A, Frankow-Lindberg BE, Golisnki P, Grieu P, Gustavsson AM, Höglind M, Huguenin-Elie O, Iliadis C, Jørgensen M, Kadziuliene Z, Karyotis T, Lunnan T, Malengier M, Maltoni S, Meyer V, Nyfeler D, Nykanen-Kurki P, Parente J, Smit HJ, Thumm U, Connolly J (2007) Evenness drives consitent diversity effects in intensive grassland systems across 28 European sites. J Ecol 95:530–539

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Kvalvik I, Dalmannsdottir S, Dannevig H, Hovelsrud G, Rønning L, Uleberg E (2011) Climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity in the agricultural sector in Northern Norway. Acta Agr Scand B-S P 61(Supplement 1):27–37

    Google Scholar 

  32. Lafferty KD (2009) The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases. Ecology 90:888–900

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Larsen A (1994) Breeding winter hardy grasses. Euphytica 77:231–237

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Lavalle C, Micale F, Houston TD, Camia A, Hiederer R, Lazar C, Conte C, Amatulli G, Genovese G (2009) Climate change in Europe. 3. Impact on agriculture and forestry. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 29:433–446

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Levitt J (1980) Responses of plants to environmental stresses, Vol. 1. Chilling, freezing and high temperature stresses, Academic Press, New York 497 pp

  36. Lowe TE, Cook CJ, Ingram JR, Harris PJ (2001) Impact of climate on thermal rhythm in pastoral sheep. Physiol Behav 74:659–664

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Maracchi G, Sirotenko O, Bindi M (2005) Impacts of present and future climate variability on agriculture and forestry in the temperate regions: Europe. Clim Chang 70:117–135

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Official Norwegian Reports (2010) Adapting to a changing climate. Norway’s vulnerability and the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. NOU 2010:10. Ministry of the Environment, Oslo, Norway

  39. Olesen JE, Bindi M (2002) Consequences of climate change for European agricultural productivity, land use and policy. Eur J Agron 16:239–262

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Olesen JE, Trnka M, Kersebaum KC, Skjelvåg AO, Seguin B, Peltonen-Sainio P, Rossi F, Kozyra J, Micale F (2011) Impacts and adaptation of European crop production systems to climate change. Eur J Agron 34:96–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Post E, Forchhammer MC, Bret-Harte MS, Callaghan TV, Christensen TR, Elberling B, Fox AD, Gilg O, Hik DS, Høye TT, Ims RA, Jeppesen E, Klein DR, Madsen J, McGuire AD, Rysgaard S, Schindler DE, Stirling I, Tamstorf MP, Tyler NJC, van der Wal R, Welker J, Wookey PA, Schmidt NM, Aastrup P (2009) Ecological dynamics across the arctic associated with recent climate change. Science 325:1355

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Rowlinson P, Steele M, Nefzaoui A (eds) (2008) Livestock and global climate change. Proceedings International Conference, 17-20 May 2008, Hammamet, Tunisia. British Society of Animal Science. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-906562-62-8. 231 pp

  43. Schwartz MD, Ahas R, Aasa A (2006) Onset of spring starting earlier across the Northern Hemisphere. Glob Change Biol 12:343–351

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Smit B, Pilifosova O (2001) Adaptation to climate change in the context of sustainable development and equity. In: Parry ML, Canziani O, Palutikof J, van der Linden P, Hanson C (eds) Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 877–906

    Google Scholar 

  45. Tait A, Zheng X (2003) Mapping frost occurrence using satellite data. J Appl Meteorol 42:193–203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Thorsen SM, Höglind M (2010) Assessing winter survival of forage grasses in Norway under future climate scenarios by simulating potential frost tolerance in combination with simple agroclimatic indices. Agr Forest Meterol 150:1272–1282

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Tyler NJC, Turi JM, Sundset MA, Strøm Bull K, Sara MN, Reinert E, Oskal N, Nellemann C, McCarthy JJ, Mathiesen SD, Martello ML, Magga OH, Hovelsrud GK, Hanssen-Bauer I, Eira NI, Eira IMG, Corell RW (2007) Saami reindeer pastoralism under climate change: Applying a generalized framework for vulnerability studies to a sub-arctic social–ecological system. Glob Environ Chang 17:191–206

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Vincent WF, Callaghan TV, Dahl-Jensen D, Johansson M, Kovacs KM, Michel C, Prowse T, Reist JD, Sharp M (2011) Ecological implications of changes in the arctic cryosphere. AMBIO 40:87–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Volden B, Sveistrup TE, Jørgensen M, Haraldsen TK (2002) Effects of traffic and fertilization levels on grass yields in northern Norway. Agr Food Sci Finl 11:219–231

    Google Scholar 

  50. Watkinson AR, Ormerod SJ (2001) Grasslands, grazing and biodiversity: editors’ introduction. JAppl Ecol 38:233–237

    Google Scholar 

  51. Wehn S, Pedersen B, Hanssen SK (2011) A comparison of influences of cattle, goat, sheep and reindeer on vegetation changes in mountain cultural landscapes in Norway. Landsc Urban Plan 102:177

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The project was funded by the Norwegian Research Council, the County Councils of Nordland and Troms, and the County Governors of Troms, Nordland and Finnmark. A special thanks to the farmers and advisors who shared their experiences with us, and to the North Norwegian Agricultural Council for initiating the project.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eivind Uleberg.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Uleberg, E., Hanssen-Bauer, I., van Oort, B. et al. Impact of climate change on agriculture in Northern Norway and potential strategies for adaptation. Climatic Change 122, 27–39 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0983-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Snow Cover
  • Rabies
  • Adaptive Capacity
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Extreme Weather Event