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[en] Highlights: • Indoor radon was measured in randomly selected newly built houses in 2008 and 2016. • New building regulations with preventive measures on radon was introduced in 2010. • A significant reduction of radon concentrations was found in detached houses. - Abstract: Results from two national surveys of radon in newly built homes in Norway, performed in 2008 and 2016, were used in this study to investigate the effect of the 2010 building regulations introducing limit values on radon and requirements for radon prevention measures upon construction of new buildings. In both surveys, homes were randomly selected from the National Building Registry. The overall result was a considerable reduction of radon concentrations after the implementation of new regulations, but the results varied between the different dwelling categories. A statistically significant reduction was found for detached houses where the average radon concentration was almost halved from 76 to 40 Bq/m3. The fraction of detached houses which had at least one frequently occupied room with a radon concentration above the Action Level (100 Bq/m3) fell from 23.9% to 6.4%, while the fraction above the Upper Limit Value (200 Bq/m3) was reduced from 7.6% to 2.5%. In 2008 the average radon concentration measured in terraced and semi-detached houses was 44 and in 2016 it was 29 Bq/m3, but the reduction was not statistically significant. For multifamily houses, it was not possible to draw a conclusion due to insufficient number of measurements.
[en] The average winds in the thermosphere during geomagnetically quiet times are important because they provide a baseline wind in the upper atmosphere, but they remain insufficiently understood at high latitudes. This paper reports the first direct ground-based wind measurements of the quiet-time thermospheric wind pattern at Tromsø in Norway using 2009–2015 data from a Fabry–Perot interferometer. We analyzed red-line wind measurements (630.0 nm; altitude: 200–300 km). On average, the zonal wind shows a decrease of eastward wind compared with diurnal tidal wind before midnight. A maximum speed of 100 m/s occurs at both the dusk and dawn sides. The meridional wind has a diurnal tide structure with a minimum value of − 130 m/s around midnight. We also found occasional large wind deviations (> 100 m/s) from the averages, even during geomagnetically quiet times. We suggest that these large wind deviations are caused by the plasma convection associated with weak substorm activities with auroral electrojet (AE) index values of less than 100 nT that occurred at local times different from that at Tromsø. .
[en] We have studied the alterations in the use of curative treatment and the outcome for lung cancer patients in Norway 2001–2016. The Cancer Registry of Norway has a practically complete registration of all cancer diagnoses, treatments given and deaths. For the years 2001–2016, 43,137 patients were diagnosed with lung cancer. Stereotactic radiotherapy was established nationwide from 2008 and its use has increased, and in 2016, 8.8% were given this treatment. In addition 20.6% were operated and 8.5% were treated with conventional radiotherapy. Thus 37.9% of those diagnosed were treated with intention to cure, compared to 22.9% in 2001 (p < 0.0001). Further, the median survival for the whole group diagnosed with lung cancer increased from 6.0 (95% CI 5.6–6.7) months in 2001 to 11.8 (95% CI 10.9–12.7) in 2016. The 5 year survival increased from 9.4 (95% CI 8.1–10.8)% to 19.9 (95% CI 19.2–20.6)% in the same period. In 2016 the age adjusted incidence rate was 59.5 per 100,000 (Norwegian standard) and had increased significantly in both sexes. There had also been an increase in mean age at diagnosis and the proportion diagnosed in an early stage. The increase in curative treatment has been paralleled with a doubling in both the median and 5-year survival. The present results are used for surveillance and as a benchmark, and we are looking forward to reaching a proportion of 40% of patients given curative treatment.
[en] To measure the nutrient leaching from canopy and the O layer in a natural oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) forest and a Norway spruce (Picea abies) plantation. Materials and methods: From mid-July to early November, 2013, we measured throughfall (TF) (n=45), stemflow (SF) (n=12) and leaching from the O layer (n = 30) in a 0.5 ha sample plot in the Caspian region, Mazandaran province in northern Iran. Main results: Concentrations of PO43-, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and K+ in the throughfall and the O layer in both beech and spruce forests significantly increased relative to gross rainfall. Concentrations of Ca2+ and Na+ in TF and SF were significantly higher in the spruce forest compared with the beech forest. Furthermore, in both forests, cumulative fluxes of all studied elements (with the exception of NH4+ and NO3-) during the study period were statistically different from those of GR (P<0.05). This study demonstrates that changing from a natural beech forest to a spruce plantation significantly alters nutrient fluxes exiting the canopy and the O layer. This information provides essential information on how planting exotic species will affect nutrient cycles in this region.
[en] Climate change is affecting the composition and functioning of ecosystems across the globe. Mountain ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate warming since their biota is generally limited by low temperatures. Cryptogams such as lichens and bryophytes are important for the biodiversity and functioning of these ecosystems, but have not often been incorporated in vegetation resurvey studies. Hence, we lack a good understanding of how vascular plants, lichens and bryophytes respond interactively to climate warming in alpine communities. Here we quantified long-term changes in species richness, cover, composition and thermophilization (i.e. the increasing dominance of warm-adapted species) of vascular plants, lichens and bryophytes on four summits at Dovrefjell, Norway. These summits are situated along an elevational gradient from the low alpine to high alpine zone and were surveyed for all species in 2001, 2008 and 2015. During the 15-year period, a decline in lichen richness and increase in bryophyte richness was detected, whereas no change in vascular plant richness was found. Dwarf-shrub abundance progressively increased at the expense of lichens, and thermophilization was most pronounced for vascular plants, but occurred only on the lowest summits and northern aspects. Lichens showed less thermophilization and, for the bryophytes, no significant thermophilization was found. Although recent climate change may have primarily caused the observed changes in vegetation, combined effects with non-climatic factors (e.g. grazing and trampling) are likely important as well. At a larger scale, alpine vegetation shifts could have a profound impact on biosphere functioning with feedbacks to the global climate.
[en] The presentation Objectives and Progress with Independent Environmental, Health and Safety Studies for Two Nuclear Submarine Defueling and Dismantling Projects by Graham Smith from Enviros Consulting, described the objectives and scope of the independent EIA study for the submarine dismantlement project funded by Norway. The study covered all areas of project implementation: towing of the decommissioned submarine, defueling operations, cutting out of submarine structures, • interim storage of radioactive materials and towing three-compartment units. Lessons learnt for the next projects were presented.
[en] Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from drained organic (Histosol) and mineral (Umbrisol) soils having a 60 year old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forest in a catchment in southwest Sweden were measured using static closed chambers every other week over 3 years (August 2010 -- July 2013). High emissions were observed during the summer months for both sites, which were significantly higher for the drained organic soils compared to the mineral soils: average emissions of 49.0 ± 3.3 and 8.0 ± 3.3 μg N2O·m-2·h-1, respectively. As the experiment was designed to have similar forest and weather conditions for both sites, these were omitted as explanatory factors for the emission difference. Initially, the soil organic matter concentration (percent by mass) difference was thought to be the cause. However, the results found that the soil organic matter amount per square metre of top soil was similar at both sites, suggesting other possible explanations. We propose that the most plausible explanation is that higher tree growth and mycorrhizal nitrogen demand reduce nitrogen availability contributing to the lower N2O emissions from the mineral soil site. (author)
[en] The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), the Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are enhancing the regulatory competence in Romania. The project started in the end of 2013 and will be completed in 2017. The goal of the project is to improve the competence of CNCAN in eight specific areas through the exchange of experience, best practices and capacity building with NRPA and the IAEA. The project is on-going and some of the results of the project are presented in the paper. The project has a budget of 4.2 million euro, 85% covered by the Norway Grants and 15% covered by Romania. This is a continuation of a similar project implemented with the same partners in 2009-2011. (author)
[en] We will present the results from a study that was designed to map PM-concentrations and indoor climate in different areas of an underground railway environment, focusing on public areas and working environments. PM2.5 and PM10 were sampled at several sites at Norway‘s second most frequented railway station, including the platform in the basement and shops on the ground floor. During the same time, PM was monitored continuously at the platform. PM-levels above recommended standard values were observed especially at the platform and in shops which are not completely enclosed. Offices on the station‘s premises have satisfactory PM-levels. An important outcome from our study is that optical PM-monitors need to be specifically prepared for applications in the railway environment.