SEVERAL mountains in the UK could literally disappear from the map because of climate change after it was revealed that rising sea levels could see them reclassified as hills.

The Guardian reported that one of the peaks at risk — Calf Top in the Yorkshire Dales — was only reclassified as a mountain a few weeks ago.

The Ordnance Survey (OS), the UK government body responsible for mapping the country, uses mean sea level as the starting point for measuring mountains, which must be at least 609.6 metres above sea level.

A peak in the Yorkshire Dales was recently reclassified as a mountain. Picture: Supplied
But there are several peaks in England, Scotland and Wales that are only a few centimetres over that threshold.

Mean sea level is calculated as the middle point between high and low tide. According to The Guardian the OS has used the same mean sea level for nearly 100 years but sea level rises due to climate change could them to reassess that marker.

The Ordnance Survey (OS) uses mean sea level as the starting point for measuring mountains, which must be at least 609.6 metres above sea level.

“We have to measure from a fixed point, and there are no immediate proposals for a change, but rising sea levels could obviously be a factor if there is a change in the future,” an OS spokesman told the paper. “Clearly if the fixed point was taken from a higher level, the heights measured would drop by the same amount, and that certainly could affect many hills and mountains.”

Another peak that risks losing its mountain status is Thack Moor in Cumbria, which also only recently became a mountain after its true height was determined to be just 2cm over the 609.6-metre qualifier.

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Source: Staff writers, News Corp Australia Network (Daily Telegraph)

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