This combination of Sept. 14, 1986, left, and Aug. 1, 2019 photos provided by NASA shows the shrinking of the Okjokull glacier on the Ok volcano in west-central Iceland. A geological map from 1901 estimated Okjökull spanned an area of about 38 square kilometers (15 square miles). In 1978, aerial photography showed the glacier was 3 square kilometers. in 2019, less than 1 square kilometer remains. (NASA via AP)

Funeral for lost ice: Iceland bids farewell to OK glacier

August 18, 2019 - 11:03 am

OKJOKULL GLACIER, Iceland (AP) — It was a funeral for ice.

With poetry, moments of silence and political speeches about the urgent need to fight climate change, Icelandic officials, activists and others bade goodbye to what once was a glacier.

Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson pronounced the Okjokull glacier extinct about a decade ago. But on Sunday he brought a death certificate to the made-for-media memorial.

After about 100 people made a two-hour hike up a volcano, children installed a memorial plaque to the glacier, nicknamed "OK."

This was Iceland's first glacier to disappear. But Sigurdsson said all of the nation's ice masses will be gone in 200 years.

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir called the glacial loss a consequence of the climate crisis.