Iceland holds funeral for glacier

Okjökull first Iceland glacier lost to climate change

Scientists bid farewell to Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change. A demonstration on Sunday took place at the former site of the glacier, which once spanned six square miles and has since been renamed as “Ok.”

Many Icelandic officials, activists and researchers came together to say goodbye and demand action towards fighting climate change. The mock funeral included a poetry reading, moments of silence and political speeches.

Okjökull September 14, 1986

Although Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson marked the Okjokull glacier’s extinction about a decade ago, he brought a death certificate to the memorial noting its August 2019 passing. A memorial plaque was installed at the site warning that “in the next 200 years all our 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,” the plaque’s inscription added.

Okjökull August 1, 2019

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said, “We have no time to lose.” The former Irish President Mary Robinson also issued a statement and said, “The symbolic death of a glacier is a warning to us, and we need action.”