Swedish mountain loses highest peak title due to global warming
In the far north of Sweden, about 150km inside the Arctic circle, between two vast crags vying for the title of Sweden’s highest peak has been settled by global warming. Kebnekaise has two peaks: a southern, glacier-covered summit accessible to suitably equipped hikers, and a northern neighbour that is free of ice. Since they were first measured in 1880, the southern peak has been the higher. But this year’s measurements, taken on September 3, the northern peak was 1.2 metres higher.
“This is the lowest height ever measured,” said Gunhild Rosqvist, a geography professor at Stockholm University. “Over the past 50 years, the height of Kebnekaise’s southern peak has decreased by 24 metres.” The annual survey revealed the northern peak now stands at 2,096.8 metres — making it 1.2 metres taller than the southern peak, which has melted away to 2,095.6 metres.
Sweden recorded its hottest ever months of May and July in 2018, with temperatures soaring to over 10°C above normal. With wildfires burning across the Arctic, the Kebnekaise glacier shrank by almost four metres.