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Scotland Is Snow-Free For The Fourth Time In The Past Six Years


According to snow experts, Scotland is snow-free for the fourth time in the past six years. The Sphinx in the Cairngorms, which was the snowdrift that lasted the longest in the UK, has finally gone away.

A snow expert named Iain Cameron tweeted on Friday that the notorious snow hole had disappeared sometime during the previous night. It has only melted nine other times in the three centuries before to this one, but this is the fourth time it has done so in the previous six years. Mr. Cameron has posited the possibility that one of the contributing factors is the warming of the planet.

The fight against "climate instability" has been described as a "battle for life or death" by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In the past eighteen years, the Sphinx atop the remote Braeriach, which is a Munro that stands 1,296 meters (4,252 feet) tall, has vanished more frequently than it ever has before.

According to the data, it occurred in its entirety on the following dates: 1933, 1959, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2017, 2018, 2021, and 2022. It is believed that the last time it completely melted was before to the year 1933, in the 1700s.

Mr. Cameron tweeted:

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/scotland-is-snow-free-for-the-fourth-time-in-the-past-six-years/ by Tyrese Griffin on 2022-10-11T01:16:24.997Z

So there we have it. It is confirmed that Scotland is snow-free yet again. The last patch, the Sphinx, disappeared sometime in the last 24 hours. I'm not a climatologist (nor even an academic), but it's a pretty obvious direction of travel. The future for semi-permanent snows in Scotland looks bleak.

- Snow expert Iain Cameron

It had been only six days since he had climbed up to inspect the patch, and at that point it was "holding on for dear life," in his words. Mr. Cameron, who lives in Stirling and has studied snow patches in Scotland for the past quarter-century, has written a book titled The Vanishing Ice, which he calls a "lament" to snow and ice that persists high in Scotland's highlands.

A man standing beside a piece of the last snow in Scotland
A man standing beside a piece of the last snow in Scotland

He collaborated with the late Dr. Adam Watson, a biologist affectionately known as "Mr. Cairngorms" for his extensive research on the region's namesake mountains. Dr. Watson's study of the Sphinx depended in part on the knowledge of Cairngorms residents and visitors who had passed it down through the decades.

In the 1840s, the Scottish Mountaineering Club began keeping track of the success of the patch, and in more recent decades, scientists and ecologists have added to this body of knowledge. In addition to Mr. Cameron's findings, a report commissioned by the Cairngorms National Park Authority and published in July 2020 noted a decrease in snow cover and a decrease in the number of days with snowfall on Cairngorm mountain dating back to the winter of 1983-84.

Scientists have noticed a warming trend since the 1960s, predicting that there will be years by the 2080s when Cairngorm receives almost no snow at all. During the previous ice age, a glacier carved out a hollow called a corrie, where the Sphinx currently rests.


Because it can store so much snow even in the summer, Garbh Choire Mor has earned the nickname "Scotland's snowiest corrie." Climbers can access a route known as "The Sphinx" from the snowfield.

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About The Authors

Tyrese Griffin

Tyrese Griffin - Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.

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