Experts have said that Europe’s biggest glaciers are set to completely disappear by the end of the century due to climate change.
According to Hallgeir Elvehoy, senior engineer of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), giant glaciers such as the Jostedal Glacier (Jostedalsbreen), the largest in continental Europe, and the Folgefonna – a collective term for three plateau glaciers in the south-western Norwegian county of Hordaland – are likely to melt in the next 80 years.
Elvehoy said that 2018 was a terrible year for the country’s glaciers, adding that there was no increase in size on any that they studied.
On average, they retreated by 33 metres in the last year, particularly during one of the hottest summers on record.
The statement means that 2018 saw one of the largest ever declines since records began.
Elvehoy said: “The models suggest that there will be very little ice left in southern Norway in the year 2100.”
The measurements are the latest to show that Norway’s glaciers have been steadily retreating since the turn of the millennium.
Nigardsbreen, a glacier arm of the large Jostedal Glacier, has reportedly retreated by half a kilometre (1,640 feet) in the last two decades.
The Jostedal Glacier, located in the south-western county of Sogn og Fjordane, covers a region of over 470 square kilometres (181 square miles) and the ice is over 600 metres (1,969 feet) tall in areas.
According to a study published in the ‘Science’ journal, global warming caused by human activity has caused a 69% loss of ice on the world’s mountain glaciers during 1991 to 2010.