Glacier recedes 887 Metres in 20 years

Glacier Recedes 240 Metres In 20 Years (UPDATE: 887 Metres)

Published June 23, 2014

Sólheimajökull glacier has receded by 887 metres in just 20 years

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
José Hernández

Sólheimajökull glacier has receded by 887 metres in just 20 years

Sólheimajökull glacier has receded by 240 metres 887 metres in just 20 years, reports RÚV (update due to RÚV correcting its numbers).

Roughly 300 travellers visit Sólheimajökull glacier each day during tourist season though there is less to see with each passing year.

“The glacier receded by 8 metres last year and 40 metres in the two years before that,” said tour guide Jónas Grétar Sigurðsson. “Sólheimajökull is a very special glacier. It reacts quickly to changes in climate.” 

So rapid is the recession that as recently as 2003 the glacier reached all the way to the local parking lot where travellers would begin their climb onto the glacier. Now there is a considerable walk to the foot of the glacier.

The glacier has also historically been black with ash from volcanic eruptions by Katla and Eyjafjallajökull but the recession means that the ash has for the most part melted away.

“There is just a thin layer of black ash now but it will continue to melt because it’s black and will take in more heat,” said Jónas.


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