Iceland holds funeral for Okjökull, their first glacier to completely melt away

Cheryl Sanders
August 21, 2019

Hundreds of people - including Iceland's PM, Katrin Jakobsdottir, and the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson - trekked to the top of Ok volcano in Borgarfjordur to honour the lost frosty giant.

The glacier used to stretch 15 square kilometres, Dr Sigurdsson said.

Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson, who pronounced Okjokull dead in 2014, brought a death certificate to the memorial. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. "Only you know if we did it." the plaque reads.

Mourners in Iceland have gathered to commemorate Okjokull, a 700-year-old glacier that was declared dead five years ago and has shriveled to a small patch of ice atop a volcano. Scientists warn that about 400 other glaciers on the island are threatened by the same fate.


Many Icelandic officials, activists and researchers came together to say goodbye and demand action towards fighting climate change.

"We are seeing the faces of climate crisis differently around the world, but it's the same crisis".

The project was initiated by local researchers from Rice University in the U.S., and guests include Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, the Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

Scientists Iceland staged the ceremony of "farewell" with the glacier Achocol, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent.


The disappearance of Okjokull, a glacier in the west of the sub-Arctic island, is being seen as directly due to the warming of the climate caused by human activity.

To have the status of a glacier, the mass of ice and snow must be thick enough to move by its own weight.

"All of the Nordic countries comprise Arctic territories, where climate change has gone from theoretical predictions of the future to everyday reality", he said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that almost half of the world's heritage sites could lose their glaciers by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate.


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