Alarm as climate change melts Icelandic glacier faster than it can recover

An Icelandic glacier is melting faster than it can recover due to climate change, experts say.

A time-lapse video created from over six weeks of footage shows the Breidamerkurjökull glacier retreating in Vatnajökull National Park in the southeast of the country.

Experts said the rapid rate of the summer melt is now well ahead of the recovery in the winter months.

The time-lapse was created by Dr. Kieran Baxter, Lecturer in Communication Design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee.

While the Cop26 summit is taking place in Glasgow, Dr. Baxter Taking Action Against Climate Change.

He said, “Footage like this should be a wake up call that we can no longer ignore the signs. Climate change is already having dire consequences worldwide and we have to take responsibility for this.

“The paths we are taking now, including the decisions at Cop26, will have a huge impact on the climate impacts we will face in the future. The amount of ice melt we see in Iceland is just one of the indicators that show us the magnitude of this impact. “

The university said Iceland’s glaciers are increasingly being attacked by rising temperatures.

Since 1989, the Vatnajökull ice cap, one of the largest in Europe, has lost 150-200 cubic kilometers of ice and, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, its area has been reduced by more than 400 km², while many glacier termini have shrunk by more than one kilometer during this time.

Snaevarr Gudmundsson, glaciologist at the South East Iceland Nature Research Center, commented on the new video: “Although this footage is only a fraction of the 10 miles wide end of the glacier, it shows how fast Breidamerkurjökull is melting now. If a glacier is in equilibrium, winter accumulation would be equal to summer melt, but we don’t see that here.

“Ablation has accelerated to recovery, and retreats of up to 250 meters per year have been recorded over the past few decades.”

Dr. Baxter worked on the project with partners at the University of Iceland Research Center in Hornafjördur.

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