Iceland holds funeral for Okjokull: 1st glacier lost to climate change

As the world recently marked warmest July ever on record, Iceland held funeral for Okjokull glacier, country’s 1st glacier lost to climate change. Nation commemorated the once huge Okjokull glacier with plaque. The commemoration ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir.

Key Highlights

People in Iceland gathered together to commemorate loss of glacier Okjokull, which was officially declared dead in 2014 at age of 700.

People who attended ceremony walked up volcano northeast of capital Reykjavik to lay a plaque which carries a letter to future and warns action is needed to prevent climate change.

First monument to a lost glacier: A bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on barren terrain once covered by Okjökull glacier in western Iceland. Plaque is also labelled ‘415 ppm CO2’, which refers to record level of carbon dioxide measured in atmosphere last May. This monument acknowledges that we know what is happening and what needs to be done.

About Okjokull glacier

Okjokull is 1st Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier and in next 200 years countries all main glaciers are expected to follow same path.

The glacier was officially declared dead by Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) when it was no longer thick enough to move.

Concern: Iceland has marked its 1st-ever loss of a glacier to climate change as Okjokull which was once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano. Scientists warn that hundreds of other ice sheets on subarctic island risk same fate.

Iceland loses about 11 billion tonnes of ice/year. Scientists fear that all of island country’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200.

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