Evidence of climate change: Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change.

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Credit: worldatlas.com

The country of Iceland is in the North Atlantic ocean. It is close to the Arctic Circle, It has about 200 volcanoes and glaciers that make up 10% of its land. It is fittingly called the Land of Ice and Fire! 

What is a glacier? A glacier is a slow floating, frozen river. It is formed by snow accumulating such that each layer collects and compacts the lower ones, a process that makes a block of ice.

Got it! Why are we talking about Iceland today? This European island country held a funeral for a glacier on Aug 18th, 2019. That’s right, a funeral for a glacier. The glacier Okjökull, covered an area of 16 square km a century ago, but the area that it occupied is now barren rock. This is the first glacier to be lost to climate change. The funeral for Okjökull was attended by 100 people which included the Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. 

Why did they hold a funeral for the glacier? To raise awareness about the effects of climate change. The Guardian newspaper reported Prime Minister Katrin as saying, “I hope this ceremony will be an inspiration not only to us here in Iceland but also for the rest of the world, because what we are seeing here is just one face of the climate crisis.” They have placed a plaque on the rock so that we all remember this sobering occasion, and use it as a springboard for corrective action.


Written by: Vaijayanti Vijayaraghavan and Sunaina Murthy

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