Lesson from glacier lost to climate change

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 19 Aug 2019

Icelanders were yesterday honoring the passing of Okjokull, the nation's first glacier lost to climate change, as scientists warn some 400 others on the subarctic island risk the same fate.

A bronze plaque was unveiled in a ceremony to mark Okjokull - which translates to "Ok glacier" - in the west of Iceland, in the presence of local researchers and their peers at Rice University in Houston, Texas, who initiated the project. "This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world," said Cymene Howe, an associate professor of anthropology.

The plaque bears the inscription "A letter to the future," and is intended to raise awareness about the decline of glaciers and effects of climate change. Iceland loses about 11 billion tonnes of ice per year, and scientists fear all 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200. Okjokull was stripped of its glacier status in 2014, when it was no longer thick enough.

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