West Iceland Glacier to Vanish in Few Decades Skip to content

West Iceland Glacier to Vanish in Few Decades

New studies of Snæfellsjökull glacier in west Iceland conclude that it decreased by 14 meters in 1999 to 2005, approximately 1.5 meters per year, which is equivalent to its cubic measure depreciating by approximately one third in the period.

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Snæfellsjökull. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

If the development continues, the glacier could disappear completely in a few decades, Morgunblaðið reports.

This information was included in an article in the latest issue of Jökull, the journal of the Glacier Research Association of Iceland and the Geoscience Society of Iceland.

It was also stated that Snæfellskjökull has receded since 1995 but never before have changes on the glacier’s surface and cubic size been measured as accurately with a so-called LiDAR technique.

It shows that the glacier has depreciated by up to 40 meters in certain areas near the edges but only by a few meters at the top. In the aforementioned period, its size in square meters has shrunk from 12.5 to ten.

Tómas Jóhannesson, a geophysicist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office and one of the article’s authors, said glacial melt is occurring incredibly fast on Snæfellsjökull, at a much higher rate than other glaciers in Iceland.

Scientists have now mapped approximately 9,000 square meters of the country’s glaciers with the new technique but have approximately 2,000 square kilometers of the southwestern part of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, left.

The project is scheduled to conclude in the next two years.

Click here to read more about glacial melt in Iceland.

ESA

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