Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

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It was the first of what will probably be many farewells.

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

It was the first of what will probably be many farewells.


Officials and researchers gathered in Iceland on August 18th, 2019, for a funeral at the site of the nation's first glacier lost to climate change, an icy victim as the world warms at an unprecedented rate.


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.


Ice currently covers about 10% of Iceland, but rising global temperatures caused by the burning of fossil fuels and emissions of other potent greenhouse gases are causing glaciers around the world to melt, raising sea levels, and threatening to create a vicious feedback loop of warming.


The funeral comes just days after scientists confirmed July 2019, was the Earth's warmest month ever recorded and Greenland's massive ice sheet experienced a "major melting event" that resulted in the loss of billions of tons of ice.


Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Satellite images from September 1986 (left) and Aug. 1 show the shrinking of the Okjökull glacier in west-central Iceland. NASA via AP


Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Felipe Dana / AP


Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change

Jeremie Richard / AFP / Getty Images

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Thinking Humanity: Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change
Iceland Held A Funeral As A Warning For Its First Glacier That Was Lost To Climate Change
It was the first of what will probably be many farewells.
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