Iceland’s smallest glacier could disappear within decades

Iceland’s Snæfellsjökull glacier is currently thinning and retreating so fast that it could completely disappear within a few decades.

Icelandic Met Office glaciologist Tómas Jóhannesson says that Snæfellsjökull, along with Iceland’s other smaller glaciers, has been retreating extremely quickly since 2000, because the weather has been unusually warm on average over the last decade, RÚV reports.

According to new measurements Snæfellsjökull has reduced in height by an overall metre-and-a-half in ten years. The glacier has thinned the most around the edges — by 30-40 metres in places.

In the same time the glacier’s area has decreased by around one square kilometre per ten square kilometres and looking back to the beginning of the last century, Snæfellsjökull was 50 percent bigger in area. By volume the glacier is now only one third the size it was. Tómas believes that the west Iceland glacier will disappear completely in a few decades if average climatic conditions do not change.

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