Okjokull Glacier, Iceland, Aug (SF) .- Between poems, moments of silence and political speeches about the urgent need to combat climate change, officials, activists and members of Icelandic civil society said goodbye to what was once a glacier .
Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson declared the extinction of the 700-year-old Okjokull glacier almost a decade ago. But on Sunday he presented his death certificate during a funeral set up for the press.
Photo shared by NASA on August 1, 2019
After about 100 people climbed a volcano for two hours, some children placed a plaque in commemoration of the glacier, now known simply as “Ok”, without the word jokull meaning Icelandic glacier.
The glacier used to extend for 6 square miles, Sigurðsson said. Residents remembered drinking pure water thousands of years old from Ok.
“The symbolic death of a glacier is a warning to us, and we need action,” said Irish President Mary Robinson.
It is the first Icelandic glacier to disappear. But Sigurðsson said that all ice masses in the country will disappear in a matter of 200 years.
“We see the consequences of the climate crisis,” said Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. “There is no time to lose”.
The plaque, which mentions carbon dioxide levels – which retain heat – also includes a message for future generations: “This monument is to recognize that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you will know if we did it. ”