A ‘dead’ glacier in Iceland symbolizes the unstoppable march of climate change.
A ‘dead’ glacier in Iceland represents climate change’s inevitable march.
The effort to counteract climate change is running out of time, according to the Daily Express. We despatched a crew to the frontlines of global warming, the vanishing glaciers of Iceland, as the UN prepares to publish its latest update on the situation next week.
We went to the first Icelandic glacier to be publicly proclaimed dead, and we had a difficult time finding any vestiges of it. As in the rest of the world’s arctic regions, the glaciers are not just retreating but also becoming thinner. This has global consequences, as some climate models project a 3 foot rise in sea levels by the end of the century, posing a threat to coastal communities all over the world.
As we discovered after slogging to the summit of Ok’s peak, the glacier is in bad state.
This ice river from the past is no longer visible. It’s almost non-existent now.
In fact, finding Ok’s bones took an hour of frenzied searching around the summit’s vast expanse of rocks.
Only a few football-field-sized patches of snow remained, as well as a blue lake in the crater of a long-dormant volcano.
Ok, pronounced Ork, is Iceland’s first officially proclaimed dead glacier, a victim of climate change yet again. According to Icelandic academics, the rest of the country’s glaciers will disappear within the next 150 years.
In 1890, a sliding ice wall hidden above 4,000 feet in the brooding highlands northeast of Reykjavik encompassed four square miles.
By 1945, it had shrunk to about three square miles, according to studies conducted by Icelandic Met Office glaciologist Hrafnhildur Hannesdóttir.
Its collapse was hastening in 1975, when it had shrunk to just two square miles. The funeral rites were conducted in 2014 because it could no longer move under its own weight.
In 2019, it barely spanned 0.02 square miles, or less than 1% of its highest area.
Ok’s formation is said to have begun 5,000 years ago. After declining during a warm period when the Vikings arrived, it was a key part of Iceland’s landscape for around 700 years.
Where there was once cracking, moaning blue ice sprinkled with black volcanic ash, there is now merely a wide swath of brown, dried stones, now liberated from the icefield’s eternal grip.
Ok isn’t alone, according to Dr. Hannesdóttir. A correspondent writes, “Brinkwire Summary News.”