- Glaciers, which cover over 10% of the country’s land, shrank to 10,400 square kilometers in 2019
- Since 1890, the land covered by glaciers has decreased by almost 2,200 square kilometers
- Experts previously warned that Iceland’s glaciers are at risk of disappearing entirely by 2200
- Nearly, all of the world’s 220,000 glaciers are losing mass at an ever-increasing pace
- Between 2000-2019, the world’s glaciers lost an average of 267 billion tonnes each year
According to a study published on Monday, Iceland’s glaciers have lost around 750 square kilometers, 290 square miles, or seven percent of their surface, due to global warming.
A study in the Icelandic scientific journal shows that the glaciers, which cover more than 10 percent of Iceland’s country mass, shrank to 10,400 square kilometers in 2019.
Since 1890, the glaciers that covered the land decreased by almost 2,200 square kilometers or 18 percent. According to the recent figures by glaciologists, geologists, and geophysicists, nearly a third of this decline has occurred since 2000. The experts had previously warned that Iceland’s glaciers are at high risk of fading away entirely by the year 2200.
The authors of the study wrote, “Glacier-area variations in Iceland since around 1890 show a clear response to variations in climate. They have been rather synchronous over the country, although surges and subglacial volcanic activity influence the position of some glacier margins.”
In April, a study showed that almost all of the world’s 220,000 glaciers are losing their mass at an increasing speed, contributing to more than a fifth of global sea-level rise this century.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra satellite had taken some images for analysis. They found that between 2000-2019, the world’s glaciers had lost an average of 267 billion tonnes of ice each year.
These findings will be included in an incoming assessment report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which is due in 2022.