Sweden has gotten warmer
According to SMHI (the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute), Sweden has on average gotten about one degree Celsius (or 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer, and has received about 10 percent more precipitation. The analysis covers the years 1991-2011. The further north in Sweden you go, the warmer the temperatures have become. And precipitation has increased in both the north and south, though decreased in areas of the east coast.

More ice cream, please!
Nordstjernan has reported earlier on Swedes' fondness for ice cream. According to new statistics from Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture), sales were estimated to go up to 97,9 million SEK ($14,3 million) in 2010. Next to our neighbors the Norwegians, Swedes are the second biggest ice cream consumers in Europe. The Finns eat the most ice cream. The list of the biggest ice cream-consuming countries in Europe looks like this: 1. Finland 2. Sweden tied with Norway 4. Denmark 5. Italy 6. Germany 7. France and Ireland 9. Greece and 10 Belgium. Interesting that the colder nations eat the most ice cream. For more on ice cream: www.nordstjernan.com/news/food/3327/ www.nordstjernan.com/news/food/3885/

The new Swedish bills
Here they are, the new Swedish bills. The man behind them is the Swedish graphic designer that won the design competition organized by Riksbanken. “It feels dizzying,” he says. Eight artists competed to design the new Swedish bills, and the designer, Göran Österlund, who was also involved in the last series of bills, created 30 years ago, won. His contribution was entitled “Kulturresan” (A cultural journey) and according to the jury it was “a series that was well put together where the different bills had a common idiom.” Österlund says, “The idea was to be able to create a journey through Sweden, since we have chosen provinces after different cultural personalities.” Chairman of the jury and member of Riksbanken, Peter Egardt, says, “I think it will be internationally recognized, this series—it is beautiful and very different.” The bills shown are just sketches. Next, the safety details will be imprinted, then test prints will be done, followed by technical changes in banks and stores. “We think we will hand out the first bill in the fall of 2015,” says Christina Wejshammar, head of Riksbanken’s cash management.

Don't (always) trust your GPS
A warning to not always trust your GPS when driving. A man in Goteborg aimed at traveling to Stromsund, a small town in Jämtland. He got into his new car and set his GPS, but did he end up in Strömsund? No, he ended up on a railroad track in Sveg. The GPS showed the man a short cut over a railroad bridge and he followed the advice, but it continued on the tracks until it stopped. Eventually a train came and managed to stop in time, so an accident was prevented. We have failed to find reports on whether the man ever got to Strömsund.…

Algal blooms
Heavy algal blooms may be the reason for the lack of oxygen that researchers now believe is what has caused the first massive marine life deaths. Earlier it was believed that colder temperatures or increased oxygen content were the causes of 86 percent of all species disappearing 444 million years ago. But that might not have been the case. An international study led by Swedish doctoral candidate Emma Hammarlund at Naturhistoriska riksmuseet (Swedish Museum of Natural History), now points to algal bloom as the reason. The lack of oxygen in many marine basins has been demonstrated by the heavy sulfur, which has been preserved at the bottom of the ocean. It shows that sulfur-loving microbes, which only thrive when the ocean or sea floor is devoid of oxygen, flourished in the oceans. At that time wildlife had not yet exited the ocean and entered land.