Iceland over the weekend held a funeral for what it says is its “first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier,” mourning the loss as an omen for the future.
Iceland Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was among others in attendance at the ceremony for the disappeared 700-year-old Okjokull glacier, as The Guardian reports,
Around 100 people walked up the mountain for the ceremony, including Iceland’s prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, former UN human rights commissioner, Mary Robinson, and local researchers and colleagues from the United States from who pioneered the commemoration project.
‘I hope this ceremony will be an inspiration not only to us here in Iceland but also for the rest of the world, because what we are seeing here is just one face of the climate crisis,’ Jakobsdottir said.
The funeral featured a commemorative bronze plaque titled, “A letter to the future,” that reads the following:
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.
“It is also labelled ‘415 ppm CO2’, referring to the record level of carbon dioxide measured in the atmosphere last May,” The Guardian reports.
SkyNews reports that "the glacier, ironically nicknamed OK, covered 6.2 square miles (16 square km) in 1890, but was stripped of its glacier status in 2014."
Why Iceland decided to hold the funeral in August 2019 is unclear.
According to meteorologists, July was the warmest month on record, “though the margin is small, given the uncertainty range,” Berkeley Earth, an independent climate monitoring and research organization, said last Thursday.