Iceland commiserates first glacier lost to climate crisis
Iceland yesterday mourned the fall of Okjokull, a glacier that has slowly eroded over the last ten years due to the climate crisis.
Residents placed a bronze plaque on a bare rock in a ceremony on top of the former glacier, previously located in Western Iceland. There was a ceremony that was attended by local researchers and their peers at Rice University in America, who started the project.
The fall of Okjokull is timely, given that the world recently marked the warmest July ever on record.
Speaking at the event, Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir said, "I hope this ceremony will be an inspiration not only to us here in Iceland but also for the rest of the world because what we are seeing here is just one facet of the climate crisis."
The plaque says, “a letter to the future,” and is supposed to warn those about the decline of glaciers and the effects of climate change.
It reads: In the next 200 years, all our 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.
It also lists ‘415 ppm C02’ referring to the record level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere last May.
According to researchers at Rice University, Okjokull is the first glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world. And unless something is done, it won’t be the last.