After enduring nearly three months of sub-freezing temperatures, Swedish grumblings of "global warming... humph!" this winter have been dispelled by the country's meteorologists whose statistics told a different story.
Still counting the chilly weather well into March, Sweden has seen a great amount of cold and snow, but winter temperatures have become increasingly warmer since the late 1800's.

"Compared with the mid-1800's, Sweden's average temperature is now about two degrees Celsius higher. Both Sweden and around the world, the new millenniumm has been the warmest decade so far," says Elin Löwendahl, climate spokesperson at the Swedish weather service, SMHI.
Parts of southern and central Sweden have been the coldest since between 1984-85 and 1986-87. In northern Sweden, the last few weeks have seen the average temperature dip slightly compared to the cold winter of 1993-94.


2009 was one of the warmest during the past 150 years, and in Sweden, the average annual temperature was 0.5-1.5 degrees Celsius above normal. Most recently, 2000 and 2006 have been warmest. Globally, 2009 was one of the warmest years since the middle of the 1800's.

Last year, only the US and Canada experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Climate researchers predict that coming average temperatures in Sweden could rise more than the world average, with the result that winters will gradually become milder.