The iconic snowcapped peaks of the Alps are fading fast and being replaced by vegetation-a process dubbed “greening” which should speed climate change, a study said on Thursday.

The analysis, set out in Science, was based largely on 38 years of satellite images from around the European landscape.

The extent of the change in the Alps has proved to be absolutely massive, said Professor Sabine Rumpf from the University of Basel, first author of the study.

Gungening in the Arctic is an acknowledged phenomenon but one which has yet to establish itself on a large scale in mountain regions.

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