The Icelandic glacier known as Okjökull has been lost to climate change. Okojökull is the first Icelandic iceberg to officially meet this fate, according to Earther.
On August 18, mourners gathered in Borgarfjöður, Iceland, to attend a ceremony honoring the lost landmark. A plaque was placed on the iceberg’s former site to commemorate its loss.
“Plaques recognise things that humans have done, accomplishments, great events. The passing of a glacier is also a human accomplishment—if a very dubious one—in that it is anthropogenic climate change that drove this glacier to melt,” Rice University anthropologist Dominic Boyer told the BBC.
In 2014, Okjökull officially had the word ‘jökull,’ meaning ‘glacier’ or ‘ice cap’, stripped from its name in order to reflect the changes wrought by climate change.
At that point in time, Boyer and colleague Cymene Howe began filming a documentary titled Not Ok in order to spread the word about what was happening to the glacier. From their findings, they determined the event should be commemorated, which created the idea for the memorial.
The plaque reads: “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.
This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.