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Study: Climate extremes drive mortality in Sweden

Researchers say more adaptation is needed to deal with increasing heatwaves

'Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia experienced well above average temperatures in August 2013. Map courtesy NASA.

Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia experienced well above average temperatures in August 2013. Map courtesy NASA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Even the northern climes of Sweden are feeling the heat. Public health researchers at Umeå University say increased temperatures caused by ongoing climate change in Stockholm, Sweden between 1980 and 2009 caused 300 more premature deaths than if the temperature increase did not take place.

In Sweden as a whole, it would mean about 1,500 more premature deaths, according to the findings, published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change. As is well-known, global warming increases the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves. Previous  studies have shown that these changes are associated with increased mortality, especially during extremely hot periods. At the same time, generally warmer temperatures may decrease the mortality associated with extreme cold. Continue reading

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Colorado: Trade mission heads for Scandinavia

Colorado businesses are looking for trade prospects in Scandinavia.

Colorado businesses are looking for trade prospects in Scandinavia. Photo courtesy NASA.

Bioscience and IT companies look for prospects in an economically strong part of Europe

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Colorado business leaders are looking to strengthen ties with Scandinavia with some help from the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which will will lead a delegation of Colorado bioscience and IT companies to Denmark and Sweden from May 13-17, 2013.

Participating companies will meet with foreign partners who will help the companies sell their products and services to the region. Biomedical products are already a huge part of Colorado’s exports.

The trade mission will help the companies to increase their international sales, leading to job retention and creation in Colorado. Companies participating in the trade mission are AD RescueWear, Couragent Inc, DH2i Company and Swan Valley Medical. Continue reading

Study focuses on aquatic habitat in cold-weather regions

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It is difficult to be a fish when the bottom of the river is covered with ice. Winter image from the river Orkla in Norway. Photo courtesy Knut Alfredsen.

Most existing models are geared toward ice-free periods

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Norwegian and Swedish biologists have taken a closer look at how extreme winter conditions in streams and rivers in cold regions, with an eye toward climate change models that predict more frequent variations between freeze and thaw conditions.

“Today most models focus on the ice-free period … In order to be able to manage streams and rivers in a long-term sustainable manner, we need to pay attention to future changes in climate when we, for example, design restoration and conservation measures, the researchers wrote in a new paper published this month in the journal BioScience.

“The predictions made about what the winter climate will be like in the future say that there will be more back and forth between thaw and frost, entailing more unstable ice conditions, more rain, and flooding, and ultimately perhaps more challenges to the survival of fish in many waterways,” said Christer Nilsson, of Sweden’s Umeå University. Continue reading

Swedish biologists launch last-ditch effort to save coral reef

A specimen of Lophelia pertusa, a rare cold water coral species. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Transplanting corals from nearby Norwegian waters may help reef survive trawling, sedimentation threats

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Biologists have launched a restoration effort at Sweden’s only coral reef, which has been hammered by trawling and increased sedimentation from eutrophication. Continuous observations with remotely operated vehicles shows  the health of the reef slowly continues to decline.

To try and restore the the Säcken reef in the Koster Fjord, researchers with the University of Gothenburg are transplanting healthy corals from nearby reefs in Norway. The species of coral in question, Lophelia pertusa, requires an environment with a constant high level of salinity and low water temperatures all year round. In Sweden, these conditions only exist in the northern part of Bohuslän, where deep water from the Atlantic is led in via the Norwegian Trench.

“We’ve known since the mid-1920s that cold-water coral reefs exist here in Sweden,” said marine biologist and researcher Mikael Dahl. “At that time, corals could be found in three locations in the Koster Fjord. Today, only the Säcken reef remains, and it’s in poor condition.” Continue reading

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