In a first, Iceland held a funeral for losing its first glacier ever to climate change. The nation commemorated the once huge Okjokull glacier with plaque that warns action is needed to prevent climate change.
FIRST GLACIER DIES IN ICELAND
Iceland has marked it’s first-ever loss of a glacier to climate change as scientists warn that hundreds of other ice sheets on the subarctic island risk the same fate. As the world recently marked the warmest July ever on record, a bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on the barren terrain once covered by the Okjökull glacier in western Iceland. Around 100 people walked up the mountain for the ceremony, including Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the former UN human rights commissioner Mary Robinson, and local researchers and colleagues from the United States who pioneered the commemoration project.
ICELAND HOPES THE FUNERAL WILL BE AN EYE OPENER FOR THE WORLD
Iceland hopes the funeral ceremony will be an inspiration not only to their nation but also for the rest of the world, because what we are seeing here is just one face of the climate crisis. The plaque bears the inscription “A letter to the future”, and is intended to raise awareness about the decline of glaciers and the effects of climate change.
ALL GLACIERS STAND THREAT OF DRYING WITHIN 200 YEARS
In the next 200 years all glaciers are expected to follow the same path. Experts say,“You don’t feel climate change daily, it’s something that happens very slowly on a human scale, but very quickly on a geological scale.” The plaque is the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world. By memorialising a fallen glacier, Iceland want to emphasise what is being lost – or dying – the world over, and also draw attention to the fact that this is something that humans have ’accomplished’, although it is not something we should be proud of. Iceland loses about 11bn tonnes of ice per year, and scientists fear all of the island’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200. Glaciers cover about 11% of the country’s surface. Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.