We are losing our glaciers
Dear reader, I am so sorry but here is again some heartbreaking news
How about installing a memorial plaque for a glacier that is lost to climate change? This is not fiction, no, this is an authentic story happening right now in Iceland. The first Icelandic glacier with the name of Okjokull (OK for short) is no more. It just melted away as it was getting too warm and could not survive.
A very serious ceremony
On August 18, 2019, they will hold a public ceremony in Borgarfjordur, and researchers from Rice University in Houston will install this plaque. This is the first time this will happen in the world. I just wonder how many more will follow and if this custom will also follow for other things that are disappearing.
For example, when the last tree is cut in the Amazon rain forest, the biggest green lung in the world, will we put up a monument remembering this human feat?
What actually is a glacier? Wikipedia tells us: A glacier is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. The USGS says a glacier is an accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water, that originates on land and moves down-slope under the influence of its own weight and gravity. It forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries.
In the U. S, Mount Rainier in Washington State, with a height of 14.410 feet (4,393 meters) boasts of having the most glaciers of any mountain in the U.S, it has 26.
A glacier can be ancient. They estimate the glacier ice in Antarctica is close to 1,000,000 years old. Have you heard about ice worms? Well, I had not and found this unusual piece of information. Ice worms really exist. They are small worms and can be found in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, but nowhere else in the world.
Imagine, when the glacier melts, the habitat of the ice worm disappears and they have not the ability to emigrate and/or adapt to an unfamiliar environment. A short but really interesting video.
The Alps in Europe
The glaciers in Europe are not faring much better. Let’s take a look at the glaciers in the Alps. If the greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, it is said that by the year 2100 some 90% of the glaciers in the European Alps will have disappeared.
If the nations can manage to drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, and by nations, I mean all nations together, then the ice loss will be less dramatic but still be a whopping two-thirds. I suppose you are getting the picture.
As governments find it so difficult to agree on this life-saving issue and continue talking instead of doing, it is high time that we, the people, step in to take over. Have a look at bUnited.Sadly, this worldwide organization had to stop because of COVID-19. Hopefully, they will continue with their work in the future.
Let us join to put straight those urgent issues our planet is suffering. I think we have what we can consider the last chance to make a difference before it really is too late.
All this melting ice will reshape not only the landscape but many more things. It will affect agriculture with its influence on weather patterns. It will affect the salinity in the oceans and very well may affect the global ocean currents, as well as tourism to the comfortable areas we all like.
Another thing we should not forget is that there are things living in the ice that will be released because of the melting of the ice worldwide.
The huge ice mass loss in Iceland
Coming back to Iceland, this country loses 11 billion tons of ice mass every year. The country can boast of more than 400 glaciers, but their death is in near sight. They project the Icelandic glaciers to disappear within 200 years, and this will have a tremendous impact on the country.
Fisheries and hydroelectric power will be at stake, and what about tourism and their cultural heritage? It is a sad picture, and this is repeated worldwide.
Now, just for the sake of discussion, what else can happen when all the glacier weight on the volcanic island of Iceland disappears? Of course, the island will rise in elevation a little. It will also release a lot of pressure on the volcanic covers, so it is possible that the sudden elimination of an ice cap will allow for more activity in the geothermal regions under the island. This does not sound good to me.
The slow-moving cycles of Mother Earth
We all know that Mother Earth goes through cycles, but they are slow-moving ones, often taking 10s of thousands of years or more to develop. Since the industrial era started, everything has been going into 6th gear at an awful speed.
From the normal super slow motion of things changing over half a millennium to a more rapid rate of 100 years (or less). It is literally happening in front of the eyes of only a few generations. What your grandparents saw, your grandchildren will only be able to see on film.
This short video shows the disappearance of the ice.
The disappearing of the Himalayas as we know it
Let us go somewhere else in this world, to the famous Himalayan mountains with their stunning landscape. Researchers from Columbia University have come up with some worrying data. It seems that recently, the glaciers have lost 8 billion tons of water a year, doubling the amount due to melting from 1975 to the year 2000.
Those 8 billion tons of water are equivalent to 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools. That is an astronomical figure and difficult to imagine.
Because of the melting, enormous lakes are being formed, which impact local communities. There is an increased danger to a sudden collapse of these lakes and if that happens, the sudden release forms a downward tsunami toward the villages below. It has become a perilous situation to live there. The world-famous Mount Everest and K2 might become ice-free by the end of this century.
Unknown things are hidden in the ice
When old ice melts, it sets a lot of things free. I wrote a post on hidden things in the ice some time ago.
The melting of the ice might have unforeseen consequences, and we really should be aware of that. Illnesses known but also unknown to modern men might suddenly stick up their heads and it could very well be that we cannot cope.
We are finding animal remains in the thawing ice. Some of these animals have not been around since the last ice age. About 17,000 years ago, the last ice age was coming to a close, then a comet struck near Greenland and the northern area of Canada, plunging the earth into what we call the Younger Dryas event.
At the same time as the comet impact, large carnivores across the northern hemisphere were killed off in a brief time and frozen.
Now, with the rapid warming of the globe, these remains are being exposed to the air and they can bring with them bacteria that have not been around for 10s of thousands of years. Can you imagine going through a human catastrophe similar to what the Native Americans experienced with the arrival of Small Pox?
Now, increase that to a global pandemic due to the interconnections of our modern world. For these unknown diseases, there will be no existing medicines and our immune system cannot overcome these challenges.
The impressive text on the memorial plaque
The plaque which will commemorate the disappearance of the OK the first Icelandic glacier to disappear has an inscription in Icelandic and in English. Here is the English text.
A LETTER TO THE FUTURE
OK 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.
The monument is to acknowledge that we know
what is happening and what needs to be done.
Only you know if we did it.
The reference to the CO2 is to the record-breaking amount of carbon dioxide recorded in the atmosphere earlier in the year. This really does not need any further explanation.
Worldwide there are many more glaciers that run the risk of disappearing
Mother Earth would be better off without us. Really, let us be fair, we are not doing her any good. Humanity is doing its best to not survive. I just wonder what will happen. If we will drive ourselves into extinction by our own stupid actions before the planet is ruined or the other way around?
Perhaps we ruin our beautiful planet to such an extent that life becomes impossible here, who knows? Obviously, the third and nicest option is to take action now protecting our environment, but will we?
I have made a special page for you with a collection of things you might find interesting. Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations.
Source: CNN World, story by Allen Kim and Isabelle Gerretsen on July 22, 2019, Wikipedia
Photo Source: Pixabay
You might care to read the following post. Everything is possible, even causing our own extinction.
Jóhann H. Ragnarsson
Thank you for this great and important article. All true but the time we have left is even smaller, the Greenland glacier, for example, seems to be smelling faster than expected.
Good evening Johann,
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I know, a lot of things are going faster than expected. We have arrived at 5 min to 12.00. It is rather frightening all the negative things that are happening all at the same time as everything is related and connected. This report about the Icelandic glacier is one of those eye-opening stories which show it is more than time to unite and do something together.
I also feel bad as well. As glaciers and the giant ice sheets on Iceland and Antarctica melt, they add more water into the ocean, which in turn increases coastal erosion and elevates storm surge as warming air and ocean temperatures create more frequent and intense coastal storms like hurricanes and typhoons. I just hope something could be done about this.
Good Morning Seun,
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Personally, I think the time of talking is over. Action is needed and as governments are not doing enough we, the people should do something. I think that bUnited will be the help the planet needs. I am forwarding this link, please have a look
Hallo there Taetske,
I am huge fan of Mother Nature and it really saddens me to hear news like this. Now that is one glacier our grandchildren will never get to see, and as you say, many more are on the way to extinction.
I actually watched an episode of Bear Grylls with Barrack Obama, and they were talking about the same thing.
When you hear news like this more than once, reality hits hard.
I hope the commemoration will be aired on most tv channel to make more people aware of the silent danger that is looming.
I wish we can all join hands and be committed to doing seriously something about it.
Good Morning Dave,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
I started with my2 websites in January of 2017 and the more I investigate the more things I find. Things which are definitely wrong and harm our environment and health.
I will also hope to see the ceremony and if not my friend Johann who lives in Iceland will certainly tell me about it.
Yes, we should and can join hands in becoming a member of bUnited. I found out about it at the beginning of July. I was told about it by Linda who lives in Canada. I love the concept and will forward the link to you, please have a look.
Hello, this is a really informative post. It is really disheartening that the world is really destroying by the hands of us ourselves. I have read about the Icelandic glacier and how the ice is melting. It’s really bad to see too that there is a lot of bacteria being released to us and possibly our immune system might not be able to fight them. I hope the government can take action.
Good afternoon Henderson,
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Look at the world and all the problems there are. Governments worldwide are not acting and if they do it is too little and too late. Many leaders have shown they are completely inadequate and that is why I think our time has come.
I have come across bUnited at the beginning of July. If we, the people of the world, unite our voice that change might happen but we should do it now as it is 5 minutes to 12.00.
I am forwarding a link, please have a look.
My opinion about the topic is this is sad, but it is true and the truth hurts and its hurting our planet and had been 5 billion people ago. Once we are back to a few people ( 1 billion is even pushing it) the planet will start fixing its self and that is the truth, that we are running out of room and time. It’s not just the glaciers its the whole planet. This planet is better off without us. For example, New York is supposed to be an island and should go back to being so.
Good afternoon Trevor,
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I have mentioned a couple of times that Mother Earth would be better off without us. We have been destroying and depleting the resources not thinking about future generations at all.
We are harming ourself with bad food and now, on top comes 5G so perhaps, instead of more people, there will be less. Global warming will also take care of too many people but I still think we should do something on a global level.
I am forwarding a link you might like and if it resonates with you join.
I used to live in Canada’s far north, above the arctic circle. Over the 15 years I lived there I personally saw this shrinking of our glaciers. It’s interesting that the Inuit have long used iceberg water for drinking water as being the purest possible form of water. In some cases, however, it has not been as rotting animal carcasses were found and the ice around them contaminated. Your view of ancient bacterial cultures suddenly coming alive and mixing in a bad way with today’s modern culture is very far from being alarmist.
Your video was especially powerful, showing the time-lapse photography of just how much ice is melting into our oceans.
The consequences of this ice melt are far-reaching and we can’t even begin to estimate all of the negative consequences this will have on ourselves and the earth.
Good afternoon Feochadan,
We, humans, have accelerated everything at a frightening speed. What would take thousands and even millions of years now is happening in a couple of hundred years. Our leaders are not doing enough as otherwise, it would not be such a serious mess.
I think it is about time we, the people should do something about this if we want the future generation also have a planet to live on. I recently came across bUnited, please have a look at the link that I am forwarding.
Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Am very shocked when I see that humans might be driven into extinction by their careless activities. It is so sad that the civilization that is supposed to make life very easy for us and the universe is the one bringing human existence into extinction.
If only we can make the right steps and stop all these activities that can bring unforeseen catastrophe in the years to come, it would have been the most adorable things we ever do to nature. I knew very well that ice worm does exist.
I just hope many unforeseen diseases will not emanate very soon because of this glacier melting effect. This review is an eye-opener and it is not only enlightening people about how to care for nature but also giving us warning about the further effect that might arise as a result of the human day to day activities.
Good afternoon Stella,
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At the rate things are going we might very well become extinct. We do not eat the right things, breathe bad air and drink polluted water. Then we top it off with radiation so it will be a miracle if we survive. Mother Earth will be better off
We have a responsibility to take care of our environment and towards future generations. As our leaders are not doing the right things to stop Global warming I think we, the people should stop it before it is too late.
I am forwarding a link and hope you will have a look. It might resonate with you.
Taetske, I am heartbroken reading this article and even though I do know it and that it is true what you have mentioned it is still so shocking like reading about it for the first time.
I have to digest it and have to think and meditate on it in what else can be done from our perspectives.
However, mankind is not co-operating and this is as bad as it gets.
Good Morning Sylvia,
Nice to see you again. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Yes, sad news. It is all our fault as since the industrial era started things have accelerated big time. What would take thousands of years to change we are changing it in half a century. There are still people out there who deny Global Warming=Climate Change.
Thank you for this very sobering information on the state of the earth’s glaciers.
We often hear stories of individual cases, but when they are pulled together here, it makes the reality even more stark.
And we usually hear of those that are reducing, but to hear that some have disappeared completely is very worrying.
You say that everything goes round in cycles, but if man is doing the damage rather than nature, then there isn’t really much hope for them.
Good Morning Geoff,
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On my website, I often write about environmental related things. I started in early 2017 and since then my worldview has transformed. There are so many things that are utterly wrong and most are man made. A lack of love and respect for creation causes many of these issues. Human greed is pushing us in the wrong direction.