When you’re the champion, it’s tough to stay on top of your game and retain your trophy year after year — but this mountain in Sweden lost its title through no fault of its own. Kebnekaise, the highest peak in Sweden in the country’s far north, is shrinking due to global warming. In fact, it’s shrinking so significantly that it can no longer call itself Sweden’s highest mountain.
Located about 95 miles inside the Arctic Circle, the mountain has two peaks, with the southern peak regularly measuring higher than the northern one. In early September, however, it was discovered that the northern peak was actually about four feet higher, due to rising Arctic temperatures melting the glacier on the southern peak.
Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist, a geography professor at Stockholm University, said, “This is quite a symbol. A very obvious, very clear signal to everyone in Sweden that things are changing.”
She added that although the mountain has been measured regularly since the 1800s, the shrinkage has largely occurred within the last two decades. The trend isn’t encouraging, but that doesn’t mean the mountain can’t regain lost ground. With the buildup of winter snow and ice, it’s possible that the mountain’s southern peak could once again regain its title.