Iceland to open a memorial for the first of its glaciers lost to climate change


The plaque remembers the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status due to melting caused by the climate crisis.

ABOVE VIDEO: Climate change's generational gap

Houston’s Rice University has unveiled a stark reminder of climate change in the form of a memorial for Iceland's first ‘dead’ glacier.

One hundred years ago the Okjökull glacier in Borgarfjörður stretched over 15 square kilometers, measuring over 50 metres in thickness. Today it barely reaches one square kilometer and registers 15 meters in thickness.

It has also lost its status as a glacier.

Researchers from the university and geologist Oddur Sigurðsson, who first declared the glacier’s death, will gather on August 18th to reveal a plaque remembering the former natural wonder. 

Anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer fear that all 400 of the country’s glaciers could be extinct by 2200.

“This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world,” said Howe.

With this memorial, we want to underscore that it is up to us, the living, to collectively respond to the rapid loss of glaciers and the ongoing impacts of climate change.

A ‘living’ glacier is defined by its ability to shed  - and accumulate - ice weight as the seasons change, while remaining a persistent mass that is constantly moving. 

When a glacier loses any of these defining features it becomes what scientists refer to as ‘dead ice’.

Australia on track to be ‘world’s worst’ climate damagers

Australia could be responsible for up to 17 per cent of the world's carbon emissions by 2030, according to new research.

A report by Berlin-based science and policy institute Climate Analytics has found planned coal and gas expansions could push Australia's share of emissions higher over the next decade.

Australian coal could be responsible for 12 per cent of global emissions by then.

Legendary natural historian, David Attenborough also recently named Australia as a climate damager in a speech to the British Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee.

"Australia is already facing, having to deal with some of the most extreme manifestations of climate change," he said.

"I will never forget diving on the [Great Barrier] reef about 10 years ago and suddenly had bleached white because of the rising temperatures and the increasing acidity of the sea."

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