As temperatures rise around the planet, glaciers continue to melt at significant rates. A glacier found on Sweden’s Kebnekaise mountain is the latest to be impacted by climate change.
Once hailed as the tallest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise mountain has now been demoted to second-tallest after its glacial peak melted significantly this past summer.
Sweden experienced several heatwaves and record high temperatures over the summer. It was expected that the peak would shorten due to the summer melt. Over the last two decades, the glacial peak has been melting by an average of one meter per year. Further, researchers were baffled to find that the mountain lost four meters of snow in a short span of 29 days.
While the peak rises again during the winter, it is not enough to make up for the snow it loses during the year. In the last fifty years alone, the Kebnekaise mountain has become shorter by 24 meters. This has raised concerns for the future of both the mountain and other glaciers as temperatures continue to increase at an alarming rate.
Iceland has been heavily impacted by climate change as well. Each year, Iceland loses about 25 square miles of glaciers. Just last month, scientists and locals held a funeral service for the Okjӧkull glacier.
Once spanning nearly six square miles of land, Okjӧkull lost its status as a glacier in 2014. At that point, the glacier had shrunk below one square mile. Since then, Okjӧkull continued to shrink due to rising temperatures. Today, a plaque commemorating the glacier can be found next to a small patch of snow.
As climate change continues to impact the planet, it is necessary for people to find solutions to address this pressing issue.
Written By: Nathaly Garzon