The demise of Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change, might be memorialized with a plaque by researchers from Rice University in Houston.
Yes, we’re memorializing glaciers now, and no, this isn’t a joke.
The monument to Okjökull glacier in Borgarfjörður, Iceland, can be installed on August 18 in a public ceremony.
“This would be the first monument to a glacier lost to local weather change anywhere in the world,” Rice University anthropologist Cymene Howe mentioned. “By marking Ok’s [short for Okjökull] passing, we hope to attract consideration to what is being lost as Earth’s glaciers expire.
“These bodies of ice are the most important freshwater reserves on the planet and frozen inside them are histories of the atmosphere. They’re also usually necessary cultural forms that are filled with significance.”
As ridiculous as it could sound to give a plaque to a former mass of ice, it’s a severe matter. Okjökull will not be the last glacier to be lost to climate change, as scientists believe that the 400-plus glaciers in Iceland will all be gone by 2200.
“Presently, Iceland loses 11 billion tons of ice mass every year. All of Iceland’s 400+ glaciers are now dealing with Ok’s fate,” stated Dominic Boyer, a professor of anthropology at Rice University who’s been finding out the impact of glacial loss on Icelandic communities.
Boyer advised CNN that glaciologists predict that “all of Iceland’s glacial mass will disappear within the next 200 years, with an enormous effect to cultural heritage, tourism, hydroelectric power, and fisheries.”
It is the latest warning that rising temperatures current a severe threat to glaciers and the thousands of individuals worldwide who live near them.