Climate change for real? Glacier melts, makes Swedish peak shrink by 2 metres in a year

WION Web Team
Stockholm Published: Aug 18, 2021, 04:22 PM(IST)

A mountain peak (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Owing to rising temperatures driven by climate change, the only remaining mountaintop glacier in Sweden, which used to be its highest peak until 2019, lost another two metres in height in a year. After a third of its glacier melted, the south peak of the Kebnekaise massif was pushed to the second spot in the rankings of Swedish mountains in 2019. The highest peak in the Nordic country is Kebnekaise’s north peak, where there is no glacier 

Owing to rising temperatures driven by climate change, the only remaining mountaintop glacier in Sweden, which used to be its highest peak until 2019, lost another two metres in height in a year, says Stockholm University. 

After a third of its glacier melted, the south peak of the Kebnekaise massif was pushed to the second spot in the rankings of Swedish mountains in 2019. The highest peak in the Nordic country is Kebnekaise’s north peak, where there is no glacier. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the university said, “On August 14, the southern peak of Kebnekaise was measured at 2,094.6 metres (6,912 feet) above sea level by researchers from Tarfala research station. This is the lowest height that has been measured since the measurements started in the 1940s.”  

“The decrease in the peak and the changed appearance of the drift can mainly be explained by rising air temperatures but also changing wind conditions, which affect where the snow accumulates in the winter. The changes also reflect a longstanding warming of Sweden’s climate,” added the university. 

In the mid-1990s, Kebnekaise’s south peak was measured as high as 2,118 metres. 

A recent UN climate panel report said global warming caused an unparalleled melting of glaciers and was close to spiraling out of control. 

The Kebnekaise massif is part of the Laponia World Heritage Site. It is located around 150 km (90 miles) north of the Arctic Circle in the Scandinavian mountains range that stretches across large parts of northern Norway and Sweden. 

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