Monday Mirthiness – ‘scientists’ to give eulogy, commemorative plaque to a glacier

From Rice University and the “staged climate photo-op, aka please send money” department.

HOUSTON – (July 18, 2019) – Iceland’s first glacier lost to climate change will be remembered with a monument to be unveiled next month at the site of the former glacier. Researchers from Rice University in Houston, author Andri Snær Magnason and geologist Oddur Sigurðsson will join members of the Icelandic Hiking Society and the general public Aug. 18 to install a monument recognizing the site of the former Okjökull glacier in Borgarfjörður, Iceland.

Plaque to be placed bemoaning the loss of the glacier.

The melted glacier was the subject of the 2018 documentary “Not Ok,” produced by Rice anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer. The film, narrated by former Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr, tells the story of “Ok,” which in 2014 became the first glacier in Iceland to lose its title because of global warming. Boyer and Howe said scientists fear all of the island nation’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200.

“This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world,” Howe said. “By marking Ok’s passing, we hope to draw attention to what is being lost as Earth’s glaciers expire. These bodies of ice are the largest freshwater reserves on the planet and frozen within them are histories of the atmosphere. They are also often important cultural forms that are full of significance.

“In the same spirit as the film, we wanted to create a lasting memorial to Ok, a small glacier that has a big story to tell,” Boyer said. “Ok was the first named Icelandic glacier to melt because of how humans have transformed the planet’s atmosphere. Its fate will be shared by all of Iceland’s glaciers unless we act now to radically curtail greenhouse gas emissions.”

The film celebrated its world premiere at Bíó Paradís Cinema in Reykjavík last August, and the film’s creators hosted an “Un-Glacier Tour” to view the remnants of Okjökull. A second “Un-Glacier Tour” will lead participants to the site where the monument will be installed. Those interested in joining the tour may RSVP online at

Howe and Boyer hope the monument will raise awareness about the decline of Iceland’s glaciers and the impact of climate change.

“One of our Icelandic colleagues put it very wisely when he said, ‘Memorials are not for the dead; they are for the living,’” Howe said. “With this memorial, we want to underscore that it is up to us, the living, to collectively respond to the rapid loss of glaciers and the ongoing impacts of climate change. For Ok glacier it is already too late; it is now what scientists call ‘dead ice.’”

Media interested in attending either event or interviewing Boyer or Howe may contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or


Ok, first of all, I don’t think these people fully understand how glaciers work. They are almost entirely driven by precipitation, not temperature. The process of ice loss in a polar glacier is mainly two things, with temperature coming in last.

  1. Calving into the sea (not applicable on this glacier).
  2. Ice loss through sublimation.
  3. In some cases, melting due to elevated temperature.

Al Gore made the mistake of blaming ice loss at Mt. Kilimanjaro on “global warming”, when it turned out to be entirely due to less precipitation, thus allowing the ice to sublimate.

In the case of Iceland, the glaciers there are dependent on precipitation just like any other glacier, and changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation could easily explain the change in precipitation.

Then there’s the inconvenient truth that the glacier likely didn’t exist a few hundred years ago, according to a paper by the U.S. Geological Survey:

From USGS.

Bemoaning the “death” of a glacier that only appears at certain times in Earth’s geologic history is a fools errand. But then again, most climate alarmists posing as scientists are fools anyway. Just look at what recently happened at Glacier National Park, where they had to remove plaques indicating they expected the glaciers to be gone by 2020.

Any bets on how long this new plaque will last?

115 thoughts on “Monday Mirthiness – ‘scientists’ to give eulogy, commemorative plaque to a glacier

  1. It will last until the next big snowfall then it will slowly disappear into the accumulating ice.

    • Have there been any cores taken to determine the age of ice at the base?
      Stratigraphy should be similar to Greenland Ice due to proxcimity

  2. Glaciers come and go:

    Alpine passes open during the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods are once again opening up, or were earlier in this century. Glaciers naturally wax and wane. Nothing the least bit out of climatological norm is happening now.

    Globally, some glaciers are retreating, others are advancing or staying put. Since the onset of the Modern Warm Period in the 19th century, probably more are waning than waxing, but those retreating started doing so long before CO2 took off after WWII.

    • Do they plan on erecting commemorative signs for each seasonal stream and flood plain as well?

      When the glacier reappears will it be downgraded to a mere snowfield or lauded as the first glacier to ‘reappear’ due to climate change?

      • Since IPCC imagines that increased CO2 will also increase H2O, as it must for the assumed feedback effects to work and get scary temperature gains, then there should be more precipitation, hence more snow to grow glaciers.

        Naturally, they come and go:

          • what’s the difference between a piano and a fish? you can’t tuna fish.

            Why couldn’t they find Mozart’s music teacher? because he was Haydn.

          • He’s not my main man, either. A lot of darkness there, but for a while in the ’80s, he managed to keep it under control enough to produce some fun music.

          • Nowadays, opioid addiction isn’t just for millionaire musicians and inner city poor anymore, thanks to cheap synthetic designer drugs.

            Through the opioid scourge, China is exacting revenge for the Opium Wars, but largely on not-guilty America rather than the offending British and Indian Empires. The US just wanted to trade sea otter pelts for all the tea in China. OK, a bad enough environmental crime, but satisfying a fashion trend, not destroying souls and lives.

    • Yes, the Alpine glacier where they found 5000 years old Otzi the Iceman disappeared before this glacier in Iceland – so this is not even the first climate-change glacier-victim.

  3. Not to worry.
    When the current interglacial ends and the glacial period returns, an advancing ice sheet will grind that plaque to dust. Shed no tears, that is what nature does.

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert… near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.[

    – Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”

    415 ppm my ass. These climate clowns are just hucksters looking for funding.

  4. This note is to state to my children and their generation my deepest apologies for my generation letting socialist forces take over the world under the lie of CO2 being a poison. While it is obviously and patently false that CO2 is anything but but the single most necessary gas for life – the people pushing this agenda have used media and “useful idiots” to cause fake hysteria. This should be quite evident in the near future, and hopefully things have not descended into full Green Hell. “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.”

  5. “Iceland’s first glacier lost to climate change…” Well no…

    It must be nice to be a glacier living in these times and to be getting all this attention. Think of all the glaciers that went without any accolades or notice the last time this (glaciers disappearing due to interglacial) happened, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that…

    • True, however, I suspect the glaciers don’t give a whit what we think about them.

  6. No one knows how many glaciers exist, so any estimate of the percentage shrinking vs. growing is worthless. Are there 300,000 or 200,000?

    Most of those shrinking would be the smallest, many little better than ice fields.

    Given the huge share of the world’s ice held in the gigantic, growing East Antarctic ice sheet, it’s possible that by mass and volume, Earth is adding ice rather than losing it, net.

    Looking just at the largest montane glaciers, about half are retreating and the rest advancing or staying about the same.

    Last year, Iceland’s glaciers gained ice:

    While many Karakoram Range glaciers are growing, Siachen, the second longest outside the polar regions, isn’t. But then, a war between India and Pakistan is being fought atop it. Much of it has been blasted away in artillery duels and especially to build camps on it. Its crevasses are filled with waste, junk and the detritus of war.

    Elsewhere, big glaciers are advancing in other areas of Asia, Europe, New Zealand, North and South America, to include that continent’s largest. North Africa’s Atlas Mountains had glaciers during the Little Ice Age. Given the recent snowfall events there, they could return.

  7. This glacier is like Pluto – it didn’t disappear just got ‘scientifically’ reclassified because it doesn’t meet some arbitrary manmade threshold.

  8. Reality check: Ice melts.

    Let us all build plaques to every natural occurrence:

    A plaque for each sunset, where the sun is lost forever in that moment of time.
    A plaque for each volume of urine that leaves our kidneys, lost forever to the toilet.
    A plaque for each exhaled breath, which is a piece of life gone into thin air.

    And there are so many more possibilities to use as excuses for creating relatively non-degradable objects that commemorate cyclical realities.

  9. Any bets on how long this new plaque will last?

    Well, we ca use the preservation of ancient Viking artifacts in the island as a guide. That is a good heavy and solid bronze piece, so I would say 1,500 – 2,000 years minimum.
    Now if the plaque is set in a location where it will be overrun and entombed by the resurgent glacier, then all bets are off. The plaque could, indeed, be rediscovered sometime during the next interglacial after the next glaciation.
    In that case, the Icelanders of that future day will decipher the writing on the artifact, and understand the message of the plaque. They will marvel at the strange religion we must have had. Because they will be surrounded by glaciers, they will understand the part about worshiping the glaciers. But they will be baffled and perplexed as to why we thought our gods were dying.

  10. The plaque will remain for as long as climate scientists don’t brush and floss regularly. If it hardens, then it becomes tartar, from which a special sauce can be made for fish. It can also be added to steak to make steak tartar.

  11. Please ensure this posting gets into the Wayback Machine. Future readers might have a laugh. Then, again, they may cry.

  12. I didn’t even know Rice had an anthropology department. At least the geology department at my alma mater apparently hasn’t been corrupted by this bullshit.

    • This is a discouraging story. Rice is or used to be a great STEM school, providing many talented engineers to the oil industry in Houston and elsewhere…

  13. How about a plaque for agenda science at the sites of wrong way predictions. It would take a plaque factory to keep up.

    Also, there used to be ice on Mount St. Helens until something happened one day.

  14. I guess Rice University is not known for its volcanologists.

    But Iceland needs all the publicity it can get to replace its failed glacial pure bottled water shipped long distances with fossil fuels.

  15. any memorials to the Glaciers that completely melted in the 1930’s in Glacier nation

  16. This sort of reminds me of reparations for slavery. How far back should we go to stipulate “here” is where the glacier used to be that covered Iceland? I would imagine that the town folk are quite happy to not be covered in a mile or more thick layer of ice. And we all have been a part of slavery since way before biblical days. Who should I seek reparations from for the forced labor of indigenous Irish?

    The world changes and so does the fauna with it. We are as much a part of the world, coming and going, as the glaciers are. However, in this day and age, we apparently should be going about morning and reparationing anybody who still has a smidgeon of Cro-Magnon DNA. Where do I send my coin for that?

    • For just America, it would be include the Posterity of slaves, and especially the Posterity of Americans who stood, did not kneel, to mitigate the progress of involuntary exploitation, redistributive change, and diversity.

    • Remnants of it still persist on Baffin Island.

      And of course still depressed Hudson Bay commemorates its enormous weight. Not to mention NYC, which has risen some 150 feet since being freed from the 2000-foot tall mass of ice which covered it until 16,000 to 12,000 years ago.

      The glacial morane of Long Island surely merits a plaque commemorating the sad loss of this magnificent ice sheet. But for Holocene global warming, Rep. Ocasio would have no Bronx or Queens district to misrepresent in Congress.

      • IIRC, there are plaques in NY Central Park commemorating the marks left on exposed boulders by retreating (or advancing, as it were) ice sheets. People need to get a sense of geologic history before celebrating or bemoaning transitory happenings.

      • At that time the Rep.s were hunting with staff for caribou and seals, from the kayaks they speared porpoises and with nets they caught crabs and fish.

        It’s a way of life.

  17. Said monument to end up like the viking settlements in Greenland …. BURIED UNDER THICK ICE SHORTLY

  18. Chip Fletcher had his 15 minutes of fame last fall but has yet to acknowledge that East Island, a little sand islet on a inside lagoon patch reef on the La Perouse shoal has regained 50% of its extent, is being visited by happy seals, less than a year after hurricane Walaka, consequence of global warming, that Fletcher blamed for the disappearance of “the 2000 + old island”.
    Fletcher’s alarmist BS has been debunked as proven by a May 3, 2019 satellite image compared to October 2018 and May 2018 images, and yet this “scientist” is yet to post anything on East Island on his twitter feed. he prefers tweeting about Greta Thunberg… Says it all!
    How come the world media are not making as much noise as they did promoting him to correct their stories?

  19. It looks as though whatever was there as an alpine glacier has melted back to a snow field on an old cone-shaped peak.
    Perhaps it could again become the top of an alpine glacier.

  20. In the Dutch provinces of Drenthe and Gelderland are found moraine glacier deposits. There were glaciers during one or more of the last glaciations. They have now disappeared, ceased to exist, gone. Due to post-glacial global warming. Methinks we need a few plaques to commemorate them too and remind us that nature is perfectly capable of disappearing glaciers without any help from humans.

  21. There should be a lucrative trade in commemorative plaques with one needed for older lost glaciers that once filled each fiord in Norway and in New Zealand. We could set up “trips of remorse’ to remind us of ice long lost and throw plastic ice cubes overboard to relate to the past

    • Putting up plaques on Long Island, Block Island, Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket would be a good start. They are all terminal moraines from the last (latest) glacial maximum. Just to remind the “elite” of the sad demise of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

      • You can’t fix stupid…

        During a visit to Yosemite national park, Obama said climate change was “no longer a threat, it’s a reality”. The first sitting president to visit Yosemite since John F Kennedy in 1962 said the famed glacial valley was already experiencing changes due to rising temperatures.

        “Here in Yosemite, meadows are drying up, bird ranges are shifting farther northward, mammals are being forced further upslope,” Obama said. “Yosemite’s famous glacier, once a mile wide, is almost gone. We are also facing longer, more expensive wildfire seasons.

        “Here in Yosemite, meadows are drying up, bird ranges are shifting farther northward, mammals are being forced further upslope,” Obama said. “Yosemite’s famous glacier, once a mile wide, is almost gone. We are also facing longer, more expensive wildfire seasons.

        Note to the worst POTUS evah… That glacial valley and all of those glaciers are the result of climate change, relatively recent climate change.

  22. As the neoglaciation proceeded, glaciers started to reform about 4000ya. The depth of the neoglaciation was 100+ya. (depends where you are). It has now apparently ceased and glaciers are now disappearing. Warmth is good but too much might knock us back to the end of the Northgrippian.

  23. The only thing certain about the future is the continuing distorting influence of human arrogance. More than any contributing factor, we believe what we believe because of what we want to believe.

    • That statement of ‘all Iceland glaciers are growing’ is blatantly wrong aka FakeNews or Alternative Facts.

      • Original report of interview with researcher Finnur Pálsson.

        The country’s largest glaciers remained in place and even expanded over the last twelve months, from autumn to autumn, according to the latest measurements. This is the first time in a quarter of a century that the Icelandic glaciers do not deteriorate.

        “They stand pretty much the same this year, which is unusual compared to the last 25 years. They have been shrinking, both Vatnajökull and Langjökull, especially though Langjökull, ”says Finnur Pálsson, project manager for glacier research at the Institute of Geology at the University of Iceland.

        Thus, Langjökull had generally thinned about one and a half meters a year over the past twenty years, Finn says.

        “But over the last few years he has been nearly zero, that is, he has neither grown nor decreased. And this applies to this year, both for Vatnajökull and Langjökull. ”

        An annual measurement of the Hofsjökull glacier, which experts from the Icelandic Meteorological Office presented 10 days ago, shows that it has slightly improved itself between years, and limited measurement of the surface of Mýrdalsjökull glacier shows that it also expanded. In fact, there was a significant addition.

        • Growing and ” glaciers do not deteriorate.” are two different things.

          and then: “Langjökull had generally thinned about one and a half meters a year over the past twenty years, ….But over the last few years he has been nearly zero”

          Does not sound like grow either.

          • The largest glaciers have definitely stopped shrinking, and some have grown; Mýrdalsjökull significantly so. We’ll see what happens in 2019.

          • But getting back to my initial point: considering the fact that the largest glaciers have stopped shrinking, shouldn’t they put a “Letter to the Future” plaque at the growing Mýrdalsjökull glacier with the warning to always be skeptical of what scientists predict because they quite frequently get things wrong (particularly climate scientists who always get things wrong).

    • Why, oh why, won’t the climate follow its CliSci Masters’ instructions?

      I don’t trust anyone’s crystal ball, alarmist or skeptic. I put my money where my wife tells me, icisil.

  24. Quote: “Ok, first of all, I don’t think these people fully understand how glaciers work. They are almost entirely driven by precipitation, not temperature. The process of ice loss in a polar glacier is mainly two things, with temperature coming in last.”

    Okjökull is not a polar glacier, so why ‘discuss’ here polar glaciers?
    Glaciers need precipitation (as snow) to exist. But glacier mass balance outside the polar region is driven by precipitation AND temperature mainly during summer (outside the tropical mountains).

  25. TomRude July 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm
    Hi Tom interesting place, that east island, “French frigate shoals”.
    I think that was the place that had U.S. listening post during WW2. The post had to evacuated because of a typhoon in 1944.

    Oh yeah that listening post helped screw up the Midway campaign for the Japanese.

    Maybe Chip Fletcher have taken 15 minutes to first read the history of the island group.


  26. There are clearly visible glacial marks on rocks in Werribee Gorge some 50 km west of Melbourne Australia. I demand a plaque be placed there mounting its loss. Can someone in the UN send me a million dollars to get the project started. It will delayed somewhat as the ice disappeared several million years ago but better late than never.

  27. According to a new study Iceland was ice-free during the Holocene Temperature Maximum up until about 5500 years before now:
    Yes, an Ice-free Iceland.

    Neoglaciation is registered in the highlands of Iceland (Langjökull) around 5500 years before now. All records indicate a strong decline in temperature, which culminated during the Little Ice Age (1250–1850 CE) when the glaciers reached their maximum Holocene dimensions.
    Only afer that the glacers retreatet somewhat, but they seem to start growing again during the last couple of years.

  28. “Boyer and Howe said scientists fear all of the island nation’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200”

    That would require Vatnajökull to melt at an average rate of 44 square kilometers of area and 5.25 meters of thickness starting this year.

    By the way if you think the image looks pretty icy you are right. Okjökull hasn’t melted yet. It has however becomer thin enough not to flow under it’s own weight which is the definintion of a glacier (icel. jökull). Now it is dödis “dead ice” which may melt completely in the future, or last indefinitely, or start thickening again into a glacier. Usually however dödis melts within a few centuries.

    • Agreed, when did Rice go over the edge? I took my daughter on a campus visit just a few months ago and they seemed not ashamed to highlight technical partnerships and internship opportunities with ExxonMobil and Shell…

  29. Iceland energy is all in renewables, only the SUV’s are guzzling fossil fuels – because Iceland sits fully on Internal Combustion, on the rig between US and Europe.

    It’s glaciers ar mere tourist Kitsch, glass snow globes, Souvenir Travel gifts:

  30. According to the Randolph Glacier inventory there were 198,000 glaciers on our planet, based on satellite imagery from 1999 to 2010.

    So maybe it’s 197,999.

    Cry me a (frozen) river.

Comments are closed.