Hailouoto is a small island with one thousand inhabitants, located in the far north of the Baltic Sea in Finland. During the winter the island is connected to the mainland by an eight kilometer ice road crossing the frozen Baltic Sea.
Local people are noticing the rapid changes in the weather conditions, resulting in thinning ice, which could affect the viability of the ice road in the future.
According to Jari Haapala, Senior Scientist for Marine Research at the Finnish Meterological Institute, “These large changes in sea ice have happened during the last 20 years. So 1987 was the last year when almost the whole Baltic was covered in ice. Since then, there have been on average only mild winters in the Baltic Sea. And we know from our Baltic sea data, that 2007 was the mildest winter for the last 300 years.”
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