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Iceland Unveils Memorial Plaque for Lost Glacier

Iceland Unveils Memorial Plaque for Lost Glacier

Wednesday, 21 August, 2019 - 06:30
Jökulsárlón, a glacier lagoon in southern Iceland where ice bergs breaking off from the Breidamerkurjokull glacier — Reuters
Copenhagen, London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Iceland unveiled a plaque to its Okjokull ice sheet, the first of the country's hundreds of glaciers to melt away due to climate change.

Scientists see the shrinking of glaciers as one of many warning signs that the earth's climate is lurching toward dangerous tipping points. A ceremony to unveil the plaque was attended by scientists and locals at the glacier in west-central Iceland, which is no longer fulfilled the criteria to be classified as a glacier after melting throughout the 20th century.

The inscription on the plaque written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, says: "Ok (Okjokull) is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier.

In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path."

"We know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it," said the inscription, directed towards future generations.

According to satellite images from the NASA Earth Observatory, the glacier appeared as a solid-white patch in 1986, but in an image from August 1 this year, only small dashes of white ice remained.

For his part, Minik Rosing, professor at the University of Copenhagen, said: "There is no longer any doubt that the climate in the Arctic is changing markedly and rapidly. All of the Nordic countries comprise Arctic territories, where climate change has gone from theoretical predictions of the future to everyday reality."

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