A Swedish mountain has lost its claim as the highest peak in the country, because it has shrunk thanks to soaring Arctic temperatures.
The Kebnekaise mountain is located in the north of Sweden, approximately 150km inside the Arctic circle, and the views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers from it are incredible on a clear day. The southern peak of the mountain is accessible to hikers, and while the northern peak has no ice, only experienced mountaineers can tackle it. According to scientists, the glacier at the summit of the southern peak has shrunk, making it shorter than the northern peak for the first time since measurements began in 1880.
The southern peak has reduced to 2095.6m and it has lost 24m in total over the past 50 years. This makes it 1.2m shorter than the northern peak. Scientists predict that it will expand again in the winter, but believe that the northern peak will eventually become the taller of the two throughout the year. Climate change is the culprit, with various locations in Sweden recording their warmest summers on record. This has facilitated the shrinkage of the mountain peak because cool summers allow glaciers to grow.
“The mountains are changing so fast – higher temperatures, less snow, winter rain,” Ninis Rosqvist from the Tarfala research station told the Guardian. "We can see the climate changing before our eyes up here, and we need to do something about it.”