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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2011, Article ID 893790, 14 pages
Research Article

Temperature and Precipitation Development at Svalbard 1900–2100

1Norwegian Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 43 Blindern, 0313 Oslo, Norway
2Telemark University College, P.O. Box 203, 3901 Porsgrunn, Norway

Received 26 September 2011; Revised 6 December 2011; Accepted 20 December 2011

Academic Editor: Stefania Argentini

Copyright © 2011 Eirik J. Førland et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Substantial variations in temperature and precipitation have been observed since the first permanent weather station was established in the Svalbard region in 1911. Temperature and precipitation development are analysed for the longest observational series, and periods with positive and negative trends are identified. For all temperature series, positive linear trends are found for annual values as well as spring, summer, and autumn series. A very strong winter warming is identified for the latest decades. Evaluation of temperature trends downscaled from global climate models forced with observed greenhouse gas emissions suggests that the downscaled results do span the observation-based trends at Svalbard Airport 1912–2010. Novel projections focussing on the Svalbard region indicate a future warming rate up to year 2100 three times stronger than observed during the latest 100 years. The average winter temperature in the Longyearbyen area at the end of this century is projected to be around 10°C higher than in present climate. Also for precipitation, the long-term observational series indicate an increase and the projections indicate a further increase up to year 2100.