Iceland holds "funeral ceremony" for disappeared glacier

The geographic feature in Iceland's Central Highlands, the former Okjökull Glacier, is now officially referred to as simply Ok. The prefix "jökull", which means "glacier", is no longer appropriate because there is no more ice. To record this historic event, on August 18, 2019, the authorities held a semblance of a funeral ceremony with the installation of a memorial plaque on the site of the former glacier.

In 1901, the Okjökull Glacier was depicted on the map of Iceland as a powerful 38 square meter strip of ice. km. But by 1945, its size had decreased to only 5 square meters. km., and by 2005 there was practically no ice left there. There was still some hope for the restoration of the glacier, but in 2014, scientists had to admit that Okjökull had completely disappeared. Now it is just a volcano without ice cover - and the same fate, with a high probability, awaits all other glaciers in Iceland.

Landnik in 1986 and 2019

The idea of ​​creating a memorial plaque belongs to Andri Snaer Magnason, who believes that such a historical event should be properly recorded. Yet this is the first time in the history of the country when the glacier has officially lost its status. Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, co-sponsors of the project, agreed.

Ice on Earth is melting everywhere and at an accelerating pace, Antarctica alone loses up to 250 billion tons annually. Glaciers have really turned into “disappearing objects”, and it is possible that after a few generations, schoolchildren at school will learn about them only from archival chronicles. It is estimated that Iceland, a land of ice and geysers, under current conditions will lose all of its glaciers within a maximum of 200 years.