Thanks To Us, The First Icelandic Glacier Is Lost To Climate Change

Scientists say we have lost an Icelandic glacier to climate change. Many people, including Iceland’s prime minister and other leaders, hiked to the site where Okjökull glacier once existed, to install a plaque that carries a cardinal message.

“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 know what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it,” read the plaque.

The glacier was declared dead back in 2014, the body once spanned 15 square miles but has now, over years, melted into a lake.”The symbolic death of a glacier is a warning to us, and we need action,” former Irish president Mary Robinson said Sunday.

This shattering news comes in just days after July was confirmed as Earth’s warmest month ever recorded and Greeland’s massive ice sheet experienced one of its biggest melting events on record. “July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global level,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“The extraordinary heat was accompanied by dramatic ice melt in Greenland, in the Arctic and on European glaciers. Unprecedented wildfires raged in the Arctic for the second consecutive month, devastating once pristine forests which used to absorb carbon dioxide and instead turning them into fiery sources of greenhouse gases. This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action,” Taalas had asserted.

Earth’s enormous masses of ice are melting at rate so fast that our planet and its people are at a great threat. By 2100, up to 2 billion people – or about a fifth of the world’s population – could be displaced from their homes and forced to move inland because of rising ocean levels, according to a 2017 study. A continuous rise in sea levels can also put some islands underwater, and if that’s not it, it can diminish drinking water, even threaten our food supply.

The ice sheets reflect rays from the sun back into the environment, keeping temperatures mild. If glaciers melt, the heat will be absorbed by the oceans and as oceans get warmer temperatures will get hotter. It’s a vicious loop and the least we can do is our bit.

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