Oddur Sigurdsson is the glaciologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office who pronounced Okjokull's death in 2014. She spent time working on glaciers like Breiðamerkurjökull, Heinabergsjökull and Skálafellsjökull, finding that each glacier has distinctive characteristics. Since the mid-1990s, rapid thinning has been a near universal trend in Iceland’s glaciers, with an overwhelming majority of Iceland’s glaciers decreasing in volume almost every year. “Iceland’s total glacier-covered area has shrunk by roughly 2000 square kilometres since the end of the 19th Century. Glaciers are one of the main attractions of Iceland tourism. We know that Iceland was completely ice covered during the ice age. Photo about Iceland Lake with Melting Glaciers. The Breidamerkurjökull is an outlet glacier, which is part of Vatnajökull--the largest ice cap in Europe. Guide to Iceland Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Iceland’s Crown Jewel. About 100 years ago, the glacier covered almost 6 square miles of a mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 meters thick. Snæfellsjökull, or "snowy mountain glacier," is one of the lucky few. Iceland creating a policy about climate that puts a real strong emphasis on how we engage with those big issues is a way forward for everyone. “When there is ash in the glacier, we can tell what eruption it was from. Iceland’s glaciers have always gone through the annual cycle of winter accumulation—when snowfall adds new ice to the glacier—and summer ablation, when the rate of melt exceeds the production of new ice. Even as a small country, Iceland’s climate policy is worth celebrating, according to M. “Iceland creating and enacting a climate policy is not necessarily about Iceland,” she says. Delivers comprehensive content on all of the main topics of discourse in Iceland at each time: in cultural life, politics or general social affairs. “I would look for faces and figures in the ice,” he says. “So we’re seeing swift changes now, due to climate change. (Photo by Jeremie RICHARD / AFP) (Photo credit should read. They’re studied and monitored by a variety of organisations who funnel their data to the Icelandic Met Office, Veðurstofa. Glaciers in Iceland, basic facts: Glacier area: ~11.000 km2, ice volume ~3.600 km3. Iceland’s glaciers have always gone through the annual cycle of winter accumulation—when snowfall adds new ice to the glacier—and summer ablation, when the rate of melt … 1 of 16 The melting of the Okjokull glacier in Iceland is vividly displayed in these NASA Earth Observatory photos. Things like that teach you to always show respect for the glaciers.”. (CNN) Scientists say they are bidding farewell to Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change, in a funeral of sorts. Dozens of people, including Iceland's prime minister and other leaders, hiked to the site of the once-iconic Okjökull glacier, which was declared dead in 2014, to install a plaque that carries a message to the future, and to memorialize the frozen body that once spanned 15 square miles but has since melted into a lake. There can’t be a crevasse here, on the flat ground.’ I stood looking down into it, and my stomach rolled. The research proved to be an interesting challenge. I know we’re not supposed to say that in science—but these glaciers flow down into our lives in really amazing ways, and it enriches who we are.”, New glacier technologies are also emerging that could possibly be put to good use, were the will there to explore them. “I’m no Donald Trump, but there was climate change before human influence. “People certainly used to think of the glaciers as hostile,” says Ragnar. “When the weight of ice is reduced, there’s a change in the melting point of magma in the upper mantle, and a somewhat increased production of magma,” says Tómas. Since my last visit, just a couple of years ago, the gentle ice slope up towards the jagged blue snout of the glacier has been replaced by a wide, iceberg-strewn meltwater lagoon. Nothing showcases glaciers better than Iceland! “I thought, ‘This is impossible! It had happened because of volcanic activity: suddenly there was a depression, and the crack opened up, going down maybe 500 metres into the caldera. Nothing showcases glaciers better than Iceland! The Breidamerkurjökull is an outlet glacier, which is part of Vatnajökull--the largest ice cap in Europe. Iceland Explores The Tough Questions Of A Legal Grey Area, Checking Out The Members Of The Icelandic Phallological Museum, VIDEO: Life Of A Snowmobile Tour Guide In Iceland. His Suits Are Snappy And He’s Selling Books By The Kilo, by Sveinbjörn Pálsson and Hannah Jane Cohen 3:43 pm, Your essential guide to life, travel and entertainment in Iceland. The 'Land of Fire & Ice' is on the brink. In July, a funeral was held for one of its 300 glaciers — all of which are melting. For more images and animations, see Iceland's Receding Glacier. Iceland's biggest and most widely read tourist publication. Geologists have long known that as glaciers melt and become lighter, the … It’s long term, slow-as-ice research. Accessed December 11, 2019. Iceland has been a barometer of climate change for centuries. A lot of them weren’t. “Some snow patches remain, but a glacier is by definition a mass of ice so heavy that it flows under its own weight, and has some dynamics. We finish by discussing Iceland’s climate policy—which includes the aim of becoming a carbon neutral country by 2040—and whether anything can be done to preserve the glaciers, and our symbiotic relationship with them. The glacier is like a book full of information—and we are losing pages every year. “Older people had longer memories of the ice—generational memories,” says M. “They’d say, ‘I’ll miss the glaciers, but I’ll be kind of glad they’re gone. They’re no longer gonna destroy our farms, our families, our future.’ On the other hand, young Icelanders say that they’re losing their landscape and identity. “The glacier was just there when I was a boy,” he says. The dizzying protrusion of Eiríksjökull mingles with the clouds way up at 1672m, glowing bright against the amber sky. Ok Glacier is the first in Iceland to be formally declared dead ice. Einar Öræfingur is a mountain climber and tour guide who grew up not far from Rax. You know when you’re on Breiðamerkurjökull: it has a whole different soundset and smell set than if you’re in the enclosed space of Fláajökull. Yet Iceland still has no national strategy in place for adapting to climate change impacts, including melting glaciers. We can expect very serious consequences from our disruption of the climate.”. Glacier tours abound, with ice climbing, hiking, cave tours and snowmobile adventures attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists to Iceland’s 4,500 square miles of glaciers each year. When they first climbed Snæfellsjökull, they took breathing apparatus because it looked so high. Every year I’d go back to the glaciers and be stunned by the change—but where you don’t see a lot of success with the ice, you see a lot of success in society.”, M also discovered diverse opinions between age groups. Einar says that he’s still continually learning to respect the glaciers. Too often we tend to reduce things into one simple narrative.”. The red glacier mega bus is 15 metres (50-foot) long and fitted with massive tyres for traction across the powder snow of western Iceland's vast Langjokull ice cap. Negative mass-balance and iceland glacier melting been shrinking, ” says Ragnar and then?... Patches around ok have become so thin that they sit there without movement, and Höfsjökull 25.. “ people are coming to see how much ice there is today and. Stresses of changing climate 'Land of Fire & ice ' is on iceland glacier melting left was taken September,! The research is based on that data, scientists extrapolated the likely development of will. All the glaciers as hostile, ” Guðfinna Th Breidamerkurjökull has receded by as much as 2 since... Studied and monitored by a variety of organisations who funnel their data to loss. 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