Iceland’s glaciers will be all but completely melted away within the next 150 to 200 years, with Snæfellsjökull gone in about 30, says one glaciologist.
Helgi Björnsson, speaking on Rás 2’s morning radio show, says that if melting rates continue as they have been doing for the past two decades, Iceland’s glaciers will not have much time left. Not only are the glaciers melting, he says, their rate of melting is accelerating.
Snæfellsjökull, he points out, is only about 30 metres thick on average. As has been reported, the peak of the mountain has melted for the first time in human memory. Helgi contends that a glacier as thin as Snæfellsjökull will not be able to tolerate this rate of melting for very long, giving it a lifespan of only about 30 more years.
Iceland’s remaining glaciers are melting at a rate of about 1.3 to 1.8 metres per year. If global climate trends continue as they have for the past two decades, even Iceland’s largest and thickest glaciers will be all but gone within the next two centuries.