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Okjökull: Iceland explains for the first time a glacier for dead

2019-08-18T20:58:51.287Z

Only 30 years ago, the Okjökull completely covered the volcano Ok. Today, only a few ice remnants remember him. Now the glacier was symbolically buried.



In Iceland, the molten glacier Okjökull has been symbolically buried. With poems, silence and speeches, activists, government officials and others reminded of the first fully melted glacier on the island in the North Atlantic.

At the ceremony, about 100 people climbed to the volcano, where the Okjökull was located for about 700 years. Children put up a memorial plaque for the glacier - this is labeled with a "letter to the future" by the writer Andri Snær Magnason. It states, "For the next 200 years, all of our main glaciers are expected to go the same way, and this commemorative plaque serves to acknowledge that we know what is going on and what to do."

30 years ago, the Okjökull ice sheet still covered the shield volcano Ok. Ten years ago, geologist Oddur Sigurðsson declared Okjökull dead. With only 15 meters of ice thickness, he has become too light to move forward and be considered a glacier. Today only a few ice remnants remind of the Okjökull.

Nestled in the North Atlantic, Iceland is heavily influenced by its glacial landscapes. President Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who also attended the funeral ceremonies, said the loss of glacial ice was a consequence of the climate crisis.

Two NASA satellite images show the glacier on the left in 1986 and the remains on the right in August 2019. © NASA / AP / dpa

Glaciers lose around 335 billion tons of ice every year

As Swiss researchers have discovered, melting glaciers lose around 335 billion tons of ice a year. Michael Zemp of the University of Zurich said in April that the world would spend about three times the remaining glacier volume of the European Alps every year. The glaciers would have lost more than 9,000 billion tons of ice between 1961 and 2016.

At the beginning of the month, the IPCC, in a special report, found that the global temperature rise across land areas is already 1.53 degrees compared to pre-industrial times. The warnings of experts and the protests of the movement Fridays for Future have contributed to the fact that the policy is increasingly concerned with the climate crisis. In September, the Federal Government's Climate Cabinet plans to come up with proposals on how to implement the German Climate Targets.

Climate change - It's worse than previously feared Our planet is heating up. Thaw glaciers, snow and permafrost. Our video shows where you can watch climate change. © Photo: Time Online

Source: zeit

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