We’ve come to that point in our collective existence as humans where we’re memorializing glaciers. That may sound funny, but it definitely isn’t. According to CNN, on August 18, the Okjökull glacier in Iceland will be memorialized with a monument. There will be a public ceremony for it.
“This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world,” Anthropologist Cymene Howe said. “By marking Ok’s passing, we hope to draw attention to what is being lost as Earth’s glaciers expire. These bodies of ice are the largest freshwater reserves on the planet and frozen within them are histories of the atmosphere. They are also often important cultural forms that are full of significance.”
Okjökull photo from Ragnar Antoniussen
Giving a memorial plaque to what is basically a giant ice cube sounds ridiculous, yes, but it’s definitely not something to take lightly. Okjökull will not be the last glacier we’ll lose to climate change. Based on a report by CNN, according to Dominic Boyer, a professor of anthropology at Rice University, glaciologists (people who study glaciers) predict that all of Iceland’s glacial mass will disappear in the next 200 years. Okjökull lost its glacier status back in 2014, and this year, in 2019, it disappeared completely.
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