'In twenty years many glaciers will be gone'
Norway's glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate, the latest annual statistics have revealed, with scientists warning that some could soon disappear completely.
No fewer than 26 of the country's 33 largest glaciers retreated in 2013, according to the annual survey from the Norwegian Water Resources Directorate, with four remaining unchanged and only three gaining length.
"We fear that in twenty years time, many of the smaller glaciers will be gone, and this will have an impact on how you see the landscape in Norway," Hallgeir Elvehøy, a senior engineer at the directorate, told The Local.
Austre Okstindbreen, a glacier in northern Norway, saw the biggest decline in 2013, shrinking by 40 metres, followed by Rundvassbreen, also in far-Northern Norway, which lost 37 metres, and Stigaholten in the mountains of central Norway, which lost 36 metres.
Elvehøy said the decline in 2013 was in line with a trend seen since the turn of the millennium.
"What we see is that the glacial areas have received less winter precipitation in the last eight years or so, and we've had a lot of warm summers, and that combination is not good for glaciers."