Mountain areas are heating almost twice as fast as the global average.

According to high resolution satellite data, the impact of global heating is evident from space, with the snow-covered Alps becoming increasingly covered in plants as the snow decreases.

The green area on the Alps has increased by 77% since 1984. This huge change in plant biomass shows the glaciers retreating in the previously snow-covered Alpine region.

The rising temperatures have led to the snow cover decreasing by approximately 10%. This along with increased rainfall are extending the growing season for plants, allowing them to become denser and thicker.

An increase in plantation is generally a positive for the environment but while the increase in vegetation of the Alps could increase carbon capture, it is likely to be offset by the negative impacts such as the thawing of permafrost and less snow to reflect away sunlight, not to mention the loss of habitat.

Professor Sabine Rumpf at the University of Basel is part of the team which published a paper on the subject, in Science.

The report explains how the success of these plants, typically from higher altitudes, could also threaten Alpine plants which put the biodiversity under significant pressure.

Greener mountains mean less reflection of sunlight, which therefore creates further warming. This heating leads to future melting of glaciers and thawing of permafrost, which can cause landslides, rockfalls and mudflows.