Sweden has lost its highest point to climate change. Kebnekaise mountain in Northern Sweden has melted so much that the mountain is no longer the highest peak in the country. The glacier is now 24 meters lower than it was fifty years ago.
The twin peaks are located 100 miles north of the Arctic
This is the latest event in a series of worrying climate moments that have impacted the Scandinavia and the Arctic regions after multiple heatwaves and record high temperatures in the summer, reports Forbes. The Kebnekaise mountain has two main peaks of which one is covered by a glacier while the other is free of ice. Located around 100 miles north of the Arctic, the twin peaks are a popular destination with hikers and very well-known by the Swedes.
Researchers have explained that the peak has been melting away by nearly one meter every year for the past two decades. This summer’s heat wave accelerated the melting and caused a reduction in almost four metres of snow in only 29 days.
Climate change is to blame
Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist, a professor of geography at Stockholm University, who has been observing the glacier for many years as part of her research said: “This is quite a symbol. A very obvious, very clear signal to everyone in Sweden that things are changing.”
When measurements were taken this year, it was found that the ice-free northern peak was higher than its neighbor: 2,096.8 meters (6,879 ft) compared to 2,095.6 meters (6,875 ft).
The southern peak will regain its title over the winter as snow falls. The snow will rebuild the glacier. However, the summer months will restart the melting process again. Sweden experienced its hottest May and July in 2018. Temperatures soared to more than 10 degrees Celsius above normal. The region has also witnessed a number of wildfires burning out of control.