The Okjokull glacier became the first Icelandic glacier lost due to climate change, and there is now a small memorial plaque at the location which is a letter for future generations warning against climate change.
“Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier,” says the plaque. “In the next 200 years, all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”
Many took to Twitter to mourn the fate of the Okjokull glacier. Here are some reactions:
It’s the foreshadowing of things to come.
— Billy Secret (@BillySecret_) August 17, 2019
A monument to Ok, the first Icelandic glacier to disappear. pic.twitter.com/WLQvh8ty8C
— Mat Peterson (@heosat) August 19, 2019
How sad to see this happen. Global warming is out of hand !
— beverley vaughan (@VaughanBeverley) August 18, 2019
the future will hate us.
— Norm (@NIHAustin) August 18, 2019
“A letter to the future”
Sadly a letter we were given years ago that I guess no one read. 🙁#WhatWillItTake #okglacier #ClimateCrisis
Iceland bids farewell to first glacier lost to climate change https://t.co/jJ545GO2yz
— The Drunknmnky (@TheDrunknmnky) August 19, 2019
With poetry, moments of silence and speeches, officials and activists in Iceland have bid goodbye to the country’s first glacier lost to #climatechange. #okglacier #sustainablelifestyleconsultant #nature #climateoptimist #naturefirst #respectnaturehttps://t.co/QwS6WBuhIy
— Sustainable Lifestyle Consultant (@SustainLifeCon) August 19, 2019
This is on us. Every single person needs to figure out their own role and responsibility in addressing this with the urgency it demands. Make our voices heard by leadership or be the #Leaders. #BeTheChange.
— Phoenix Center (@phxcntr) August 18, 2019
Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson pronounced the Okjokull glacier extinct about a decade ago.
After about 100 people made a two-hour hike up a volcano, children installed a memorial plaque to the glacier, now called just “Ok,” minus the Icelandic word for glacier. Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson and former Irish President Mary Robinson were among those in attendance for the installation of the plaque.
The glacier used to stretch six square miles (15 square kilometers), Sigurdsson said. Residents reminisced about drinking pure water thousands of years old from Ok.
“The symbolic death of a glacier is a warning to us, and we need action,” former Irish president Mary Robinson said.
This was Iceland’s first glacier to disappear. But Sigurdsson said all of the nation’s ice masses will be gone in 200 years.
“We see the consequences of the climate crisis,” Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir said. “We have no time to lose.”
Jakobsdottir said she will make climate change a priority when Nordic leaders and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Reykjavik on Tuesday.
The dedication on the plaque, written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, also carries the date it was installed and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air globally – 415 parts per million (ppm)
The melted glacier was the subject of the 2018 documentary “Not Ok”, which produced by anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer of Rice University in Texas.
with inputs from AP