- Title: Iceland unveils memorial plaque for lost glacier
- Date: 18th August 2019
- Summary: OJOKULL GLACIER, ICELAND (AUGUST 18, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERED AHEAD OF UNVEILING OF MEMORIAL PLAQUE FORMER IRISH PRESIDENT MARY ROBINSON WALKING VARIOUS OF ATTENDEES BEING INTRODUCED, (LEFT TO RIGHT) ICELAND'S PRIME MINISTER KATRIN JAKOBSDOTTIR, ROBINSON AND AMNESTY SECRETARY GENERAL KUMI NAIDOO ROBINSON LISTENING PEOPLE GATHERED (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT RICE UNIVERSITY, DOMINIC BOYER, SAYING: "We were hoping that this memorial may survive as a prototype for other communities around the world who are interested in finding ways to come to terms emotionally and intellectually with the loss of glaciers as with climate change more generally. So for us, we hope to keep working in Iceland, keep working in terms of our research as anthropologists but also in terms of climate advocacy and we do hope that this idea, quirky as it is, of creating a memorial to a fallen glacier, is something that other people use as inspiration in their communities as well." ANOTHER GLACIER NEAR OKJOKULL (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT RICE UNIVERSITY, DOMINIC BOYER, SAYING: "Climate change has to be, and important issue for the Nordic countries especially and there is going to be a meeting of the Nordic heads of state along with (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel from Germany here in the next couple of days and we're all hoping very much that that understanding of the acceleration of this climate crisis will lead the Scandinavian countries and Germany to declare themselves world leaders in combating the climate emergency. So we're very hopeful that in the next couple of days we'll be hearing some good news from the heads of state that are gathering here in Iceland that perhaps we've reached a news state of political commitment in the battle against climate change." PEOPLE WALKING WITH MOUNTAIN IN BACKGROUND VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING TO OK MOUNTAIN PEOPLE CARRYING BANNERS PEOPLE GATHERED FOR MEMORIAL PLAQUE UNVEILING AT THE TOP OF WHAT WAS ONCE OK GLACIER PEOPLE HOLDING PLACARDS READING (English): "Global climate crisis" AND "Declare Emergency Now" MAN PUTTING GLUE ON STONE BOYER HOLDING MEMORIAL PLAQUE PEOPLE LISTENING WOMAN TAKING PHOTOGRAPH AS PLAQUE IS ATTACHED PLAQUE WITH THE HEADLINE (English): "A letter to the future" PEOPLE LOOKING AT THE PLAQUE (SOUNDBITE) (English) GEOLOGIST, ODDUR SIGURDSSON, SAYING: "It's decreasing very fast, retreating and decreasing in mass very fast and has been particularly for the last twenty years. Extremely fast deterioration of the glaciers and many of them have left already, probably close to a hundred glaciers have disappeared during the last century and now there are 250-270 left which will perish in the next decades and a couple of centuries." BOYER POSING NEXT TO PLAQUE BOYER POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHER VARIOUS OF WHAT IS LEFT OF OK GLACIER
- Embargoed: 1st September 2019 23:54
- Keywords: Okjokull glacier climate change memorial plaque unveiled
- Location: OJOKULL GLACIER, ICELAND
- City: OJOKULL GLACIER, ICELAND
- Country: Iceland
- Topics: Environment,Climate Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ASQUO93
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iceland unveiled a plaque to its Okjokull ice sheet on Sunday (August 18), the first of the country's hundreds of glaciers to melt away due to climate change.
Scientists see the shrinking of glaciers as one of many warning signs that the earth's climate is lurching toward dangerous tipping points.
A ceremony to unveil the plaque was attended by scientists and locals at the glacier in west-central Iceland, which in 2014 no longer fulfilled the criteria to be classified as a glacier after melting throughout the 20th century.
"Ok (Okjokull) is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path," said the inscription on the plaque written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason.
"We know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it," said the inscription, directed towards future generations.
According to satellite images from the NASA Earth Observatory, the glacier appeared as a solid-white patch in 1986, but in an image from Aug. 1 this year, only small dashes of white ice remained.
Icelanders call their nation the "Land of Fire and Ice" for its other-worldly landscape of volcanoes and glaciers, immortalized in literature. But the glaciers are melting and scientists say rising global temperatures are to blame.
(Production: Martin Schlicht, Ilze Filks)
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