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Current Affairs

Iceland Commemorates 1st glacier lost to climate change

Date: 19 August 2019 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

 

Iceland has erected a bronze plate to officially mark the death of glacier Okjokull, the 1st glacier lost to climate change.

 

Background

 

The glacier located in Iceland was officially declared dead in 2014 when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano.

This has been gaining major attention due to current phenomenon of global warming. It is assumed that many more glaciers are on the way to extinction if drastic steps are not taken.

 

Glaciers and climate change

  • Glaciers around the world can range from ice that is several hundred to several thousand years old and provide a scientific record of how climate has changed over time. Studying them we gain valuable information about the extent to which the planet is rapidly warming. They provide scientists a record of how climate has changed over time.
  • Rapid glacial melt in Antarctica and Greenland also influences ocean currents, as massive amounts of very cold glacial-melt water entering warmer ocean waters is slowing ocean currents. And as ice on land melts, sea levels will continue to rise.
  • Many glaciers around the world have been rapidly melting. Human activities are at the root of this phenomenon. Since the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have raised temperatures, even higher in the poles, and as a result, glaciers are rapidly melting, and retreating on land.
  • If emissions continue to rise, the current rate of melting on the Greenland ice sheet is expected to double by the end of the century. If all the ice on Greenland melted, it would raise global sea levels by 20 feet.

Iceland

  • Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 360,390 and an area of 103,000 km2,  making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
  • Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite locating entirely outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly.

Capital: Reykjavik

Currency: Icelandic Krona