Santa's climate change concerns
While the rest of the world generally welcomes unseasonably high temperatures - in the short term at least - there’s one village in Finland’s far north that doesn’t. Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, near the Arctic Circle, relies on heavy snowfalls at this time of year to ensure Christmas magic for its booming tourism industry.
Northern Lapland, where Santa Claus holds court, typically receives 20 to 30 centimetres of snow by the end of November. But this year the region experienced its mildest November for 60 years. CNN reports the warmer than usual weather raised concerns that global warming may wreak havoc on the region’s critical winter travel industry - the annual “Santa season”.
While the snow has finally started to arrive, delighting the thousands of visitors who make the magical trip to experience a fairytale Christmas, one Finnish meteorologist told Sky News: “Depending on the projected scenarios, it’s expected that by the end of the century there will be much less snow, and in fewer places, in Lapland.”
However there’s still plenty to do, including watching the Northern Lights. With only a few hours of daylight, the village is shrouded in a rather mysterious air of silence and peacefulness at this time of year. And come December 23(Finnish time) Santa gathers his reindeer and leaves the village at 7pm sharp. A special event is held to see him off, then it’s first stop, New Zealand.