Iceland's Okjökull is the first glacier that fell to Climate change. It is an indication of things to come and researchers want to highlight this loss. They gathered this Sunday in Borgarfjörður, Iceland and conducted a ‘funeral’ for the glacier. It lost its status as a glacier in 2014. In order to remember this occasion, they erected a plaque inscribed in English and Icelandic. Its title is "A letter to the future" and it will remind us that the future is in danger.

The prediction is that all our glaciers will disappear over the next couple of centuries.

CNN explains that ice sheets in Greenland and glaciers in West Antarctica are melting due to climate change resulting in sea-level rise. However, the rate of rise appears to be higher in comparison to assumptions. Therefore, there is a need to raise awareness among the people because the health and wellbeing of the planet are at stake. Geologists caution that if the melting of glaciers is not arrested it will pose hazards and threaten our very survival.

Effects of the loss of glaciers

The first casualty of glaciers melting away would be the people who reside near the coast. CNN says by 2100, the number of displaced people would be in the region of up to two billion.

They would have to relocate inland. That certainly would be a major problem. Moreover, remote island nations could cease to exist because of the rising sea level. Another issue is drinking water. For many people in mountainous areas, glaciers are the main source of drinking water. A geologist at the University of Buffalo adds, “A world without glaciers would threaten that water supply and potentially have devastating effects.”

Loss of glaciers would threaten the food supply chain also because farmers would have to readjust the pattern of crops depending on the prevalent climatic conditions.

That, in turn, could give rise to a scarcity of food with a loss of nutritional value. This is the opinion of a UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Another aspect is the effect on ports. These are vital for the global economy and the rise in sea level could damage the infrastructure of many ports. That would have a cascading effect on society as a whole.

Iceland commemorates loss of Okjokull its first glacier

According to DW, the melting away of Okjokull, a glacier in Iceland is a warning of things to come due to climate change.

On the occasion, a bronze plaque was unveiled in the presence of dignitaries. They included Iceland's prime minister, the environment minister, and the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights. The purpose was to highlight the issue of climate change on glaciers and the survival of the planet. Scientists have cautioned that the hundreds of glaciers in Iceland could disappear by 2200.

Okjokull was officially stripped of its glacier status in 2014. In 1890, it covered 6.2 square miles, but by 2012, it reduced to 0.27 square miles. Iceland relies heavily on tourism. It is the country's biggest industry and a favorite Travel destination. Last year, it welcomed 2.3 million international tourists. Many of them had come to admire its glaciers.

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