Glaciers disappearing from Spanish Pyrenees

Madrid - The glaciers on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees mountains straddling Spain and France are set to melt completely by mid-century, the daily El Pais on Tuesday quoted an Environment Ministry report as saying.

The glaciers covering parts of the Spanish Pyrenees have lost 88 per cent of their surface since 1894, down to 206 hectares in 2008, according to the report.

The glaciers are now retreating faster than before, losing 25 per cent of their surface between 2002 and 2008.

Recent harsh winters have stabilized the glaciers temporarily, but have not allowed them to grow.

Experts attribute the retreat of the glaciers to rising temperatures and reduced rainfall linked to global warming.

"This is a worldwide phenomenon which cannot be reversed," geographer Fernando Lampre said. (dpa)