Only you in the future will know if we saved glaciers


Rice University

❝ The first of Iceland’s 400 glaciers to be lost to the climate crisis will be remembered with a memorial plaque – and a sombre warning for the future – to be unveiled by scientists and local people next month.

❝ The former Okjökull glacier, which a century ago covered 15 sq km (5.8 sq miles) of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 metres thick, has shrunk to barely 1 sq km of ice less than 15 metres deep and lost its status as a glacier.

❝ “In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path,” the plaque reads, in Icelandic and English. “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”…

❝ Cymene Howe, an associate professor of anthropology at Rice, said the plaque “would be the first to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world”. Marking the moment should draw attention to what is being lost, she said.

Notice will be taken – and understood – by that small number of human beings who comprehend what is happening. And that even smaller number of politicians who care.

2 thoughts on “Only you in the future will know if we saved glaciers

  1. Cassandra says:

    The United Nations on Friday warned that the heat wave that obliterated European weather records is moving towards Greenland, where it could cause record melting of the world’s second largest ice sheet. If this ice sheet melts entirely, it would raise global sea levels by almost 23 feet. It covers 80 percent of Greenland, and is composed of thousands of years worth of snow compressed into ice. Spokeswoman for the U.N. World Meteorological Organization Clare Nullis said that in July alone, the ice sheet lost 160 billion tons of ice through surface melt, which is the equivalent of 64 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. “Just in July. Just surface melt—it’s not including ocean melt as well,” she emphasized. Nullis linked the brutal heat waves to the effects of climate change, citing a study by Britain’s Met Office that said that by 2050, record-breaking heatwaves would happen every other year. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-weather-greenland/europes-record-heatwave-threatens-greenland-ice-sheet-idUKKCN1UL14U
    See also https://www.livescience.com/66041-heatwave-europe-greenland.html for links
    Animation from satellite data shows record European temperatures on July 25, compared with the peak of the previous heat wave on June 26, 2019. https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/Tfb5YtuhKkVHcmHJ5T6B8Y-650-80.gif

  2. Uh-oh... says:

    “Underwater melting of tidewater glaciers is occurring much faster than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at Rutgers and the University of Oregon.
    The findings, which could lead to improved forecasting of climate-driven sea level rise, are based on a new method developed by the researchers that for the first time directly measures the submarine melting of tidewater glaciers.” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/rub-ugm072419.php The study appears in the July 26 issue of the journal Science. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6451/369

    “Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.” Haruki Murakami, “Dance Dance Dance” (1988)

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