Sweden’s tallest mountain is shrinking from climate change

Sweden’s highest mountain peak shrunk by 6 and half ft (2 meters) in a single year because of the melting of the glacier that covers it, a brand new research has discovered.

The Kebnekaise glacier, captured in a picture by the European satellite tv for pc Sentinel 2 on July 28, has misplaced one third of its mass in latest years due to climate change, in accordance with a statement by the European Copernicus Earth statement program, which manages the Sentinel Earth statement constellation. 

Measurements of the Kebnekaise mountain began within the Nineteen Forties, in accordance with the Bolin Centre for Climate Research of Stockholm University, Sweden, which is in command of the monitoring. Those observations present that the peak of the mountain’s southern peak varies all through the year as a result of snow drift and the recession of ice in summer time. It is often at its highest in May and lowest in mid-September. The distinction between the winter and summer time top may quantity to as much as two or three meters. 

When the college’s geologists measured the mountain’s top on Aug 14, they discovered it was at its lowest for the reason that measurements started. At 6,872 ft above sea stage (2,094.6 meters), the summit’s altitude was practically 6.6 ft (2 m) under the Aug 2020 worth of 6,878.3 ft (2,096.5 m). The summit will probably lose no less than additional 1.6 ft (0.5 m) by mid-September, the scientists added.

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“The height variation is a good symbol of the glaciers’ response to a warming climate in Sweden,” Per Holmlund, professor of glaciology on the Bolin Centre’s Tarfala Research Station who led the measurements, mentioned within the assertion. “When hikers climb the top today, they pass a flat part — a ‘pre-peak’ — which did not exist in the early 2000s. Since 2020, the peak is 2,2 meters (7.2 feet) lower, but the ‘pre-peak’ has grown by up to 1,2 meters (3.3 feet).” 

Average air temperatures within the area have been rising, in accordance with the scientists, inflicting the ice to soften at a better fee. The impact on the southern peak of Kebnekaise has been additional exacerbated by altering wind patterns, which have an effect on the buildup of snow in winter. 

The southern peak of Knebnekeise was once Sweden’s highest summit. But now this title has formally gone to the mountain’s northern peak, which is extra rocky and due to this fact immune to the altering climate. 

The melting of glaciers was talked about in a damning report launched by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this month as one of many undisputed indicators of the worsening climate change. The report described the speed of glacier loss as “unparalleled” previously 2,000 years and predicted that the disconcerting development will proceed for hundreds of years to come back. 

With their unobscured view from above, satellites assist scientists monitor glaciers and ice sheets arounds the world and uncover the results of climate change. The European Union’s Copernicus Earth statement program at present manages a constellation of 9 Sentinel satellites that monitor varied features of Earth’s setting. 

Follow Tereza Pultarova on Twitter @TerezaPultarova. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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