Climate Change: Iceland loses its first ever Glacier, the country mourns

21 Août, 2019, 02:40 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Okjökull Okjokull ok glacier iceland glacier iceland glacier memorial iceland ok glacier funeral ok glacier farewell climate change

Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson also attended the event, as well as hundreds of scientists, journalists and members of the public who trekked to the site.

It comes after environmentalists in Iceland laid a commemorative plaque on the site of a Glacier on Sunday, that had been declared dead.

"Ok (Okjokull) is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier". The plaque is "the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world", Cymene Howe, associate professor of anthropology at Rice University, said in July. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done.

"In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path".

Climate change is something that happens very slowly on a human scale, but very quickly on a geological scale.

The rock is now also labeled with the measurement "415 ppm CO2"-the level of carbon that was detected in the Earth's atmosphere in May". "Memorials everywhere stand for either human accomplishments, like the deeds of historic figures, or the losses and deaths we recognise as important", she said.

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"By marking Ok's passing, we hope to draw attention to what is being lost as Earth's glaciers expire", she said.

Scientists announced in 2014 that Okjokull would no longer be considered a glacier, after its size measured at less than half of one square mile. "Seeing a glacier disappear is something you can feel, you can understand it and it's pretty visual", he told AFP.

"All of the Nordic countries comprise Arctic territories, where climate change has gone from theoretical predictions of the future to everyday reality", he said. Glaciers cover about 11 percent of the country's surface.

Geologist Oddur Sigurðsson pronounced the glacier extinct about a decade ago because it no longer had the critical mass necessary to move and so couldn't be defined as a glacier.

But Iceland chose to hold the funeral for the deceased ice mass - it's first to go extinct from rising temperatures - last weekend amid warnings from the scientific community that hundreds of other glaciers across the sub-Arctic country could soon disappear.

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