Iceland mourns death of its glacier
Mourners have gathered in Iceland to commemorate the loss of Okjokull, which has died at the age of about 700. Okjokull is a glacier and it should still be around despite being 700-year-old.
But climate change cut its life short. Okjokull was officially declared dead in 2014 when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano.
Icelandic officials and environmental activists unveiled a memorial plaque on August 18, read poems and held a moment of silence to say an official goodbye to the country’s first glacier which has disappeared due to climate change. About 100 people made the two-hour hike up a volcano to attend the unique ceremony.
The plaque, written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, reads: Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier. In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.
NASA satellite images from 1986 showed Okjokull as a solid white patch of ice. Another image taken August 1, 2019, showed barely any ice. The glacier used to stretch six square miles but now remains less than 1 square miles.
Iceland Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson and former Irish President Mary Robinson attended the ceremony.
The Largest Glacier on Earth, Lambert Glacier, is 60 Miles Wide and Around 270 Miles Long. It’s named after former Australian director of national mapping Bruce P Lambert, who helped chart out the area during the late 1950s.