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Mourners Gather in Iceland to Commemorate the Loss of the Glacier Okjokull

Iceland glacier commemorated with plaque

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iceland
Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier. Pixabay

Mourners will gather in Iceland on Sunday to commemorate the loss of the glacier Okjokull, which was officially declared dead in 2014 at the age of 700. The glacier was officially declared dead when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson and former Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day. After opening remarks by Jakobsdottir at the ceremony, mourners will walk up the volcano northeast of the capital Reykjavik to lay a plaque which carries a letter to the future.

“Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier,” it reads. “In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. “Only you know if we did it.”

The dedication, written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, ends with the date of the ceremony and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air globally – 415 parts per million (ppm). “This is a big symbolic moment,” Magnason told the BBC on Saturday.

“Climate change doesn’t have a beginning or end and I think the philosophy behind this plaque is to place this warning sign to remind ourselves that historical events are happening, and we should not normalise them. We should put our feet down and say, okay, this is gone, this is significant.”

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Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day. Pixabay

Oddur Sigurdsson, the glaciologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office who pronounced Okjokull’s death in 2014, has been taking photographs of the country’s glaciers for the past 50 years, and noticed in 2003 that snow was melting before it could accumulate on Okjokull. Glaciers have great cultural significance in Iceland and beyond.

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Snaefellsjokull, a glacier-capped volcano in the west of the country, is where characters in Jules Verne’s science fiction novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” found a passage to the core of the planet. That glacier is now also receding. (IANS)

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“India Should be Seen as An Important Player To Combat Climate Change”, Says Norway

Both the countries agreed on the importance of delivering concrete, scalable solutions for ocean health and wealth at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June 2020

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Climate Change
On Sunday, both countries stressed the need to strengthen bilateral cooperation on environment and climate change, particularly marine pollution. Pixabay

Norway on Sunday said that it saw India as an important player against climate change and that both countries could play leading role in tackling the global issues of environment and climate change.

Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar and Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn met at the Mahatma Mandir here to discuss bilateral and global issues on climate and environment.

A Conference Of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species will be held at the venue from Monday to Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event via videoconferencing. It is for the first time that the triennial event would be held in the country.

On Sunday, both countries stressed the need to strengthen bilateral cooperation on environment and climate change, particularly marine pollution.

“We, particularly Norway, see India as an important player in action against climate change problems. We are impressed by India’s efforts in curbing plastic waste handling, especially through the drive launched by the Indian Prime Minister, through ‘Say No to Plastic’,” said Rotevatn.

India has banned the use of single-use plastic in the country.

“Year 2020 will be the Super Year for Environment. India is rich in biodiversity and we expect that both countries help each other through technology and research, so that more work can be carried out for environmental conservation,” Javadekar said.

Climate Change
Norway on Sunday said that it saw India as an important player against climate change and that both countries could play leading role in tackling the global issues of environment and climate change. Pixabay

The Minister said that India had initiated an ocean dialogue with Norway to address marine plastic litter. Both the countries have formed joint working groups on blue economy with sustainable development.

Both Ministers recognised that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for phasing out use of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs)could prevent up to 0.4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. It was agreed to continue the projects supported by Norway on issues related to HFCs.

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Both the countries agreed on the importance of delivering concrete, scalable solutions for ocean health and wealth at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June 2020. (IANS)