Iceland Mag

7 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Geology

Scientists fear Icelandic glaciers will disappear within the next two centuries

By Staff

  • Vatnajökull glacier, Southeast Iceland Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull ice cap in Southeast Iceland, has retreated 7 km (4.3 miles) since 1900. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

A leading glaciologist in Iceland, Oddur Sigurðsson, fears Icelandic glaciers will have disappeared completely within the next two centuries. The National Broadcasting Service reports that all Icelandic glaciers are diminishing in conjunction with the world’s long-term temperature increase.

Oddur says there’s little hope for the smaller glaciers, many of which have already disappeared, such as Okjökull glacier in West Iceland.

Read more: Ice tongues on the Southeast side of Vatnajökull glacier are disappearing

Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull ice cap in Southeast Iceland, has retreated 7 km (4.3 miles) since 1900, forming the country’s deepest lake in the process. Sólheimajökull glacier in South Iceland has also diminished quite drastically in the past decade.

“It’s likely that the country will be free of glaciers within the next two centuries, perhaps much sooner,” Oddur told the National Broadcasting Service. He adds that glacier melting is one of the greatest threats of climate change due to rising sea levels. It also threatens the livelihood of a number of animal species. “The situation is dire,” Oddur concludes. 

Related content

Editor's Picks