The loss of Okjökull Glacier is not just a loss for Iceland but is also a reminder to the world about the ill-effects of global warming due to Climate change. In order to commemorate the sad occasion, Iceland will install a special plaque on August 18. The inscription on the plaque will read “a letter to the future.” It used to be the “Ok glacier” and lost its glacier status in 2014. That happened after its area reduced to less than half a square mile from the original 5.8 square miles. Scientists attribute this situation to global warming and the once majestic glacier is now “dead ice.” It means it has stopped moving and has transformed into an accumulation of clay, silt, sand and gravel.

Time reports about the background of the memorial. There was a documentary in 2018. Its name was “Not OK” and it described the events that led to its demise. Rice University produced it and involved two of its anthropologists. They were Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer. Former Reykjavík mayor, Jón Gnarr narrated the commentary.

Sign of things to come

This memorial to Okjökull Glacier is unique because it is “the world’s first monument to a glacier-that-was.” As one of the anthropologists, Cymene Howe says, "its story is small but it narrates a much bigger one about climate change." The inscription on the plaque eulogizes the glacier and warns of a bleak future.

It expresses fears that other glaciers could disappear in another 200 years’ time. The plaque adds: “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

Time adds that Okjökull Glacier is not alone.

Scientists are also concerned about one in Antarctica. It is the Thwaites, which is about the size of Florida. It has lost its stability and monitoring is on as its melting would lead to a significant rise in sea levels. Iceland has around 400 glaciers, and all of them could meet the same fate by 2200. That would, in turn, affect the ecological balance of the region and extend to the whole world.

There must be positive action by all concerned to prevent such a situation.

Plaque to remember a glacier that was

According to USA Today, the “Ok glacier” is the first one of Iceland that disappeared due to climate change. There will be a plaque put up in its memory next month. It will help raise awareness among the people about the decline of Iceland’s glaciers. As anthropologist Cymene Howe of Rice University in Houston says, “By marking Ok’s passing, we hope to draw attention to what is being lost as Earth’s glaciers expire."

She explains these are bodies of ice and contain the largest freshwater reserves on the planet. About a century back, it covered almost six square miles and had a thickness of nearly 50 meters. Its loss is the result of global warming and carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most responsible. However, there is a section of people who do not attach much seriousness to global warming.