Melting ice brings down Sweden’s highest mountain peak

A Norwegian military transport plane crashed near the top of Sweden’s Kebnekaise mountain in 2012. (Stian Lysberg/Reuters/Solum/Scanpix)
The summer’s hot weather has reduced Sweden’s highest mountaintop to second place.

The south peak of Kebnekaise was once the country’s highest point but part of the glacier that covered it has melted away.

Now, the northern peak, standing at 2,097 meters, is the highest summit.

Per Holmlund, a glaciologist at Stockholm University, has been measuring Kebnekaise’s peak since the 1980s. For nearly a decade, scientists have expected the southern tip to shrink below the northern one but it was Holmlund’s calculation on Sunday that finally showed it had happened.

“It’s the same pattern we can see on all other glaciers here in the surroundings,” he tells Radio Sweden. “For the last 20 years, they have been shrinking. And this south summit is an ice summit and it has responded in exactly the same way.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Warming Arctic could be at heart of deadly July heatwave, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s drought ends with violent storms, Yle News

Norway: Arctic Europe’s July records melted under extreme temperatures, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Forest fires are raging across the Barents region, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Lasting drought behind Sweden’s worst projected harvest in 25 years, Radio Sweden

United States: Rapid Arctic warming is increasing the frequency of blizzards in U.S. Northeast: study, Radio Canada International

Frank Radosevich, Radio Sweden

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