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Global warming threatens Sweden's highest peak: researcher
by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) Sept 13, 2013


Sweden's highest peak risks losing its title as rising temperatures have eaten away at the glacier that forms the top of the mountain, a researcher said Friday.

The southern peak of Kebnekaise mountain, the highest point in Sweden, has dropped by about one meter (three feet) annually for the past 18 years, according to Gunhild Rosqvist, a geographer at Stockholm University.

"It's a clear trend," said Rosqvist, who also heads a research station in northern Sweden where the measurements are carried out. "There is no doubt that the melting process is caused by the warmer weather."

The first measurements of Kebnekaise's southern glacier top were done in 1902, when it was reported at 2,121 meters above sea level.

This year, it had dropped to 2,099 metres, giving it only a three-metre lead over the mountain's northern summit, which consists of solid rock.

Based on current trends, the northern summit could overtake the title as the highest peak within the next two or three years, said Rosqvist.

Kebnekaise is a popular tourist destination, allowing even inexperienced trekkers to climb the mountain.

"I hope it will remain standing proudly. It's a beautiful peak," Rosqvist said.

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