Another heartbreaking story of climate doom!

Looks as if Larry has determined more about the story we made fun of here.

Reposted from Fabius Maximus blog

Larry Kummer, Editor Climate change 24 July 2019

Summary: Another day, another heart-rending story about the coming climate doom. Okjökull is dead. They say that we killed it. The story is bogus, as usual.

Earth melting - Dreamstime-33491903
ID 33491903 © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.

Okjökull (aka Ok) in the Langjökull Group is a small cupola-type mountain glacier located north of a snow-filled summit crater on Ok, a volcano in west-central Iceland. Named for its shape like a yoke. It has died and become famous. As universities do these days, Rice put out a lurid press release. Red emphasis added. Academics in every field are joining the climate publicity parade!

“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.

“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. …

“’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.’”

Click to enlarge.

Of course, journalists went wild with the story, such as  The Guardian’s “Icelandic memorial warns future: ‘Only you know if we saved glaciers.’” My favorite was ScienceAlert’s “Iceland’s Heartbreaking Glacier Memorial For The Future.” Climate activists went over-the-top, as always. As usual, the story was bogus.

Okjökull glacier
Photograph of the Okjökull glacier on 15 September 2003 by O.S., NEA.

For a history of OK, see The Glaciers of Iceland: A Historical, Cultural and Scientific Overview by Helgi Björnsson (2016).

“Once upon a time, the glacier had crept forwards in all directions from the top of Ok. Pure winter snow settled every year on the sand that had been blown onto its the previous summer. …There is no longer an accumulation zone on Ok and so every year a thin sliver is sliced off from the surface of the entire glacier, revealing the layers of sand-like rings in a tree trunk.”

Björnsson describes how Ok shrank rapidly during the 20th century, as shown by its area on various maps:  38 sq. Km. in 1901, 15 in 1910, 5 in 1945, and under one Km. in 2016. Most of this was before anthropogenic warming became the dominant cause of warming. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report said that …

“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”

We know little of the history of the Ok glacier, and especially about how past climate cycles affected it. The only mention I find in the literature is this from Geographic Names of Iceland’s Glaciers: Historic and Modern by Oddur Sigurðsson and Richard S. Williams, Jr. (USGS), page 164.

“The place-name is noted in Harðar saga “og Hólmverja,” which may have been written as early as the 13th century (possibly 15th century). Ok may not have had a glacier at that time because of the preceding warmer period.”

If Ok died during the Medieval Warm Period, it was born again during the Little Ice Age. It may have lived and died countless times during it long life. Its latest death is another example of weather converted into propaganda.

Fake news - Dreamstime_115632360
ID 115632360 © Violka08 | Dreamstime.
Disregarded warnings by climate scientists

Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.
– Roman adage: silence means assent when he ought to have spoken and was able to. See Wikipedia.

A few scientists have warned about the complicity of their peers in climate activists’ propaganda. As in this prescient op-ed in the BBC: “Science must end climate confusion” by climate scientist Richard Betts, 11 January 2010.

“Of course, we know that these things {extreme weather} happen anyway, even without climate change – they may happen more often under a warmer climate, but it is wrong to blame climate change for every single event. Climate scientists know this, but still there are people outside of climate science who will claim or imply such things if it helps make the news or generate support for their political or business agenda. …

“{D}o climate scientists do enough to counter this? Or are we guilty of turning a blind eye to these things because we think they are on ‘our side’ against the climate sceptics? …Climate scientists need to take more responsibility for the communication of their work to avoid this kind of thing. Even if scientists themselves are not blaming everything on climate change, it still reflects badly on us if others do this.”

A more recent warning is in “Why setting a climate deadline is dangerous” by Shinichiro Asayama et al in Nature Climate Change, in press. Gated. Open copy here.

“Although the rhetoric is usually seen by scientists as a misleading interpretation of the IPCC findings, the IPCC and most climate scientists have so far kept silent, thereby implicitly seeming to endorse it. However, given that the IPCC’s SR15 report helped to create the condition for this rhetoric, as the institutional authority for climate science the IPCC should take responsibility for more actively engaging in political conversations around it.”

Climate science – perhaps all of science, perhaps all of us – might pay a high price for this cooperation with activists’ exaggerations and fictions about climate change. The stakes are too high. We cannot afford this.

Conclusion – and other posts in this series

These debunkings are easy to write because climate activists are not even trying hard anymore. They have broken all effective resistance, can say anything – and journalists rebroadcast it without criticism. That is the kind of power that re-shapes a nation. For more about this, see other posts in my series about the corruption of climate science.

  1. About the corruption of climate science.
  2. The noble corruption of climate science.
  3. A look at the workings of Climate Propaganda Inc.
  4. New climate porn: it forces walruses to jump to their death!
  5. Weather porn about Texas, a lesson for Earth Day 2019.
  6. The Extinction Rebellion’s hysteria vs. climate science.
  7. Activists hope that fake news about droughts will win.
  8. Listening to climate doomsters makes our situation worse.
For More Information

Here is an example of a typical episode of hysteria about polar ice in 2013: The North Pole is now a lake! It was gullibly accepted by many on the Left, who ignored the rebuttals by scientists. James D. Agresti shows the long history of mis-reporting melting at the North Pole.

Back in 2009 and 2010 I wrote skeptically about the melting sea ice predictions (e.g., here, here, and here). This goes up on my list of accurate predictions.

Hat tip on this story to Anthony Watts.

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. See the important things to know about global warming. For more information see all posts about the arctic region and polar sea ice, and especially these …

  1. About the forces melting the arctic sea ice (not just CO2).
  2. What we learned from the freak storm that “melted the North Pole” on 30 December 2015.
  3. Terrifying predictions about the melting North Pole!
Books about the state of climate science

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Professor Roger Pielke Jr. (2018).

The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened by Susan Crockford (2019).

Disasters and Climate ChangeAvailable at Amazon. The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never HappenedAvailable at Amazon.

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July 26, 2019 10:19 am

Right on top of a tectonic plate rift and a source of geothermal heat.


Reply to  Pablo
July 26, 2019 12:13 pm

Little things like that.

Reply to  Pablo
July 27, 2019 12:51 am

Only it is not geothermal heat what melted it.

Dan J. Cody
July 26, 2019 10:19 am

Al Gore the warlock: ‘I’m melting,ohhhhh,I’m meltingggggg !

Reply to  Dan J. Cody
July 26, 2019 11:37 am

Oh, what a hot world. Who would have thought a pretty little trace molecule could destroy my beautiful flabbiness. I’m meltinggggg. Ohhhhhhooooooooooooo.

As the curtains close, only a greasy puddle remains. Fade to black…..


john harmsworth
Reply to  Dan J. Cody
July 26, 2019 1:31 pm

The fires of Hell are going to be particularly hard on Al Gore if he can’t take the same temperatures hundreds of generations of our ancestors lived through without any climate control technology. I don’t understand why he doesn’t sleep outside on the 80% of days where the outdoor temp is cooler than it is in his house.
The guy’s a creep!

Dan Cody
Reply to  john harmsworth
July 26, 2019 2:19 pm

I agree.He’s a total weirdo;so obsessive to the point of irrationality.He must have been born in boiler room and developed some kind of a manic phobia.

July 26, 2019 10:27 am

“I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival”
— Prince Charles, speaking at a reception for Commonwealth foreign ministers. Source: BBC, 25 July 2019.

The Prince is quite right about this. The current intense bombardment of the US public by climate doomster stories cannot be long continued without burning out the public’s interest in it. Even 18 months might be too long.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Larry
July 26, 2019 11:18 am

My nightmare scenario here in Canada is Socks Zoolander getting a minority government propped up by the Green Party and the NDP (i.e.,, think AOC but dumber) AND Charles as our King…

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  Caligula Jones
July 26, 2019 12:44 pm

What if the NDP received a minority government? With the Liberals turning themselves into a punch line, who will the left leaning people vote for? The NDP. I never thought it could happen, but it happened in Alberta, and it could happen in Canada.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Caligula Jones
July 26, 2019 12:52 pm

It’s not too late to rebel. We TRIED to liberate you guys in 1814 but Lundy’s Lane and all …

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
July 26, 2019 6:39 pm

Some Americans would rather be part of Canada. link

John Dilks
Reply to  commieBob
July 26, 2019 7:20 pm

You can have them, we can’t get them to keep their promise to leave.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
July 26, 2019 12:56 pm


My guess (guess) is that we will see that happening across the West. The Left is playing the long game, and playing it well. Climate change is a potentially break-through issue, and the Left is using its dominance in key power centers to bombard people with propaganda.

Tens of thousands of people saw the story about the Dead Glacier for everyone who saw its debunking. Propaganda works.

Reply to  Larry
July 27, 2019 1:27 am

Larry, the “debunking” of this story relies solely on this data: 38 sq. Km. in 1901, 15 in 1910, 5 in 1945, and under one Km. in 2016.

Is is suggested the data comes from maps in Björnsson’s book. Is this correct? What maps? Have you seen them? Is there some other evidence these numbers are accurate? Who calculated the areas?

Reply to  Loydo
July 27, 2019 6:52 am

So it shrank far less between 1945 and 2015 than the previous 40 years? Are you saying “global warming” is becoming far less of an issue? Finally Lloydo is waking up.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Loydo
July 27, 2019 11:18 pm

That’s pretty much how Glacier National Park went. the majority of the receding occurred before 1950.

Len Werner
July 26, 2019 10:33 am

That the glacier only appeared during the Little Ice Age and was not there during the Medieval Warm Period doesn’t register? That it lost half its area between 1901 and 1910 doesn’t count? That it was only 13% of its 1901 size by 1945 just makes eyes glaze over and brains melt?

And supposed scientists are involved in the production of the idiotic plaque. How on earth, if you’re supposedly a trained scientist, do you make the decision to do such a thing??–to put your name on something so ludicrous? How do you convince yourself of how nicely this Emperor is dressed?

(Some) ‘scientists’ sure as hell do not hold a fraction of the intelligence or integrity that they had when I became one.

Mark Broderick
July 26, 2019 10:39 am

Great post. The “Greenie Weenies” will not be happy until Canada is covered in a mile of lifeless ice….AGAIN !

July 26, 2019 10:56 am

I guess I’ll cry and mourn the next time a winter snowcover melts away. There’s goes my beloved snowdrift…… 🙁

Reply to  beng135
July 26, 2019 11:15 am

Indeed. Land covered with ice is useless.

Dan J. Cody
Reply to  Gamecock
July 26, 2019 11:18 am

Unless you have a few brews on hand to keep them cold.

Nick Werner
Reply to  beng135
July 26, 2019 12:36 pm

Don’t worry… I’m Ok and currently on vacation in the Atlantic where it’s warmer.

Dan J. Cody
Reply to  Nick Werner
July 26, 2019 2:09 pm

Why did the snowman have a smile on his face? Because he heard that the snowblower was in town.

Reply to  beng135
July 26, 2019 1:38 pm

beng135: “I guess I’ll cry and mourn the next time a winter snowcover melts away.”

I’m already planning a candlelight vigil for my last snowdrift next year.

Oh wait…. won’t all those candles make it melt faster? Nevermind.

Len Werner
July 26, 2019 11:07 am

“Icelandic glaciers are presently retreating – Glaciers on Iceland had their maximum Little Ice Age extension by 1890-1920. Glacier variations in Iceland since 1930 show a clear response to variations in climate during this period: Most non-surging glaciers retreated strongly during the early half of the monitoring period, following the warm climate between 1930 and 1940. A cooling climate after 1940 led to a slowing of the retreat and many glaciers started to advance around 1970. Warming climate since 1985 led to an increased number of retreating glaciers, and all Icelandic outlet glaciers are retreating presently and the ice caps are loosing ice volumes due to accelerating summer melt (Figure 12). The estimated coverage loss per year is about 0.2% overall, which amounts to 20-30 km2 becoming ice free every year. If the present trend continues, most glaciers on Iceland will have melted away within 500 years.”

Note the last sentence, extrapolating 500 years. Why? After just expounding on the incredibly changeable history of glacial accumulation and ablation, including reversals of advance and retreat within a few decades of each other, why would someone draw a straight line out 500 years from the most recent decade? When has any Icelandic glacier continued on one particular trend for that time period in the last thousand years?

(And don’t miss how settled THAT science is, when the plaque states 200 years and this author states 500).

Reply to  Len Werner
July 26, 2019 1:22 pm

““Icelandic glaciers are presently retreating ”

That article needs updating. As of 2018 the 4 largest Icelandic glaciers have stopped retreating, and 2 of them are growing.

Reply to  Len Werner
July 27, 2019 1:25 am

icisil, I presume you’re relying on Finnur Pálsson for you information?

Langjökull had been losing around one and a half meters of ice per year for the past 20 years, “but in the last few years he has been close to zero, that is, he has neither expanded nor diminished. And that applies to this year, both for Vatnajökull and Langjökull as well.”

Reply to  Loydo
July 27, 2019 7:03 am

Lloydo, I presume you are relying on “EurekAlert” for “you” information?

July 26, 2019 11:08 am

that is one pitiful excuse for a glacier…..

Dan J. Cody
Reply to  Latitude
July 26, 2019 11:16 am

What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long? Polaroids.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Dan J. Cody
July 26, 2019 12:59 pm

Can I have a plaque for my freezer anytime I forget to make ice cubes?

Reply to  Dan J. Cody
July 26, 2019 1:00 pm


Dave Fair
Reply to  Dan J. Cody
July 26, 2019 4:03 pm

How old are you, Dan?

Reply to  Latitude
July 27, 2019 7:36 am

that is one pitiful excuse for a glacier…..

Yes. It should be put out of its misery pronto.

Jim Hamilton
July 26, 2019 11:09 am

I am very impressed with the bronze memorial plaque. Does anyone have links to the wind/solar powered smelter and foundry that produced it? I would like to learn about that how that technology works.

July 26, 2019 11:22 am

The likes of Howe and Boyer are propagandists not scientists, pure and simple. They should surrender their PhD’s.

G. Streb
Reply to  Dave
July 26, 2019 1:19 pm

Some would say Howe and Boyer, as anthropologists, are not scientists anyway. But in any case it is the “scientists’ (who) fear that all of Iceland’s glaciers will be gone by 2200 who should have their credentials questioned. H&B are simply the useful idiots.

July 26, 2019 11:57 am

… anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer …

Of all the university departments, anthropology is one of the most corrupt. It has gone totally postmodern Marxist and has abandoned any pretense of being a rigorous academic discipline. link

Reply to  commieBob
July 26, 2019 12:01 pm

commieBob Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I’d love to know why.

July 26, 2019 12:17 pm

It was the Rice Univ. travel tourism that did it. Did they take a portable latrine?

July 26, 2019 12:20 pm

How much CO2 went into the forging and transportation of the plaque? And what was the source of the metals and forge chemicals?

Kurt in Switzerland
July 26, 2019 12:34 pm

Heart-wrenching, perhaps?

Bill C
July 26, 2019 12:36 pm

Why is this heartbreaking? They’re saying everything is going to be Ok.

July 26, 2019 12:41 pm

Glacier Bay was also clear in the MW warming.

Kurt in Switzerland
July 26, 2019 12:42 pm

From the article: “Its latest death is another example of weather converted into propaganda.”

More like, “Its latest death is another example of [decadal climate fluctuations] converted into propaganda.

July 26, 2019 12:42 pm

Someone needs to have the plaque makers add their personal names to the plaque, so that MY descendants can make-fun of THEIR descendants. It is well known that if you are required to personally “sign” some statement, or claim, the will to do so often fades.

Reply to  Joe Hepperle
July 26, 2019 1:40 pm

I’m glad I read the comments before saying it myself. You said it better than I would have.

Why does no one take credit for the plaque? If someone wants to get enuf cash together for second monument, stating explicitly who is responsible for the first monument, I’ll contribute the first $50.

Michael H Anderson
July 26, 2019 12:51 pm

I hate that the last Ice Age is ending. Hate, hate, HATE it! Stupid Earth!

Reply to  Michael H Anderson
July 26, 2019 12:55 pm

Don’t worry we are still in one!

steve case
July 26, 2019 1:18 pm

Somebody has to tell me why the loss of a glacier is something to be mourned.

Joel O'Bryan
July 26, 2019 1:36 pm

Climate science is facing an existential crisis when (not if) the Climate Scam collapse in the next few years.

Their silence in allowing the alarmist hustlers like Al Gore and the media Leftist idiots to run rampant on the issues will reinforce the view of their status as mere Rent-Seekers. Then there are perps like Mann, going on TWC as their “expert” every time there is a hurricane in the Atlantic/GoM during hurricane and claiming its a result of Climate Change, or Jon Overpeck using NSF grant money to spew lies, they should be indicted and charged with fraud for taking NSF money and knowingly spewing lies.

July 26, 2019 2:21 pm

You cannot defeat idiocy, when it has good slogans such as … “melting glaciers are the canary in the coal mine, WARNING us about Global Warming”. Hence … any melted glacier is a dead canary … and we coal miners are next. If we don’t stop mining coal.

Curious George
July 26, 2019 3:01 pm

At least they did not confuse Eyjafjallajökull which erupted in 2010 with Okjökull. Enjoy until the Ok eruption.

Bruce Cobb
July 26, 2019 3:09 pm

“In the next 200 years all of our glaciers are expected to follow the same path”.
Heh. Expected by whom? Glaciers advance and retreat. That is their nature. It has zero-zilch-nada to do with man, or with “carbon”. Nor is it a “tragedy” when one disappears. Climatists are indeed the ultimate morons.

July 26, 2019 3:25 pm


Steve Z
July 26, 2019 4:32 pm

Then there were the signs in Glacier National Park in Montana warning that the glaciers there will soon be gone. The signs were removed this year when the glaciers were found to have grown since last year. Oops!

Reply to  Steve Z
July 27, 2019 2:04 am

Fake news Steve.

Reply to  Loydo
July 27, 2019 7:08 am

Are you lying or just deluded?

Reply to  F.LEGHORN
July 27, 2019 9:53 am


July 26, 2019 4:49 pm

250,000 years from now, they will find this plaque hundreds of miles from where it was placed, carried there by the ice from the previous glaciation.

Mickey Reno
July 26, 2019 5:10 pm

Just one question. Is this glacier one of the paternalistic, white-privilege enjoying, sexist, hating glaciers, or is it one of the woke, gender diversity respecting, inclusive, glaciers-of-color respecting ice floes? If the latter, a ceremony and grieving are definitely in order. But if it’s the former, good riddance to this little schmutz of an ice cube (with apologies to all our woke Jewish icebergs for the cultural appropriation).

July 26, 2019 11:51 pm

The thing I am confused by is whether (weather) glaciers melt because CO2 or because there is less precipitation – i.e. glaciers are fed by snow fall, yes? Does lack of snow mean global warming, or just less precipitation? The whole glacier melting = warming thing seems a deliberate red herring, to mislead anyone who has not had to consider where glacier ice comes from. Less ice MUST = hot, hot, hot, because ice melts when it is warm. QED. Hey! Climate science is easy!

July 27, 2019 7:49 am

True quote:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

~ Okjökull, circa 1300

July 28, 2019 4:12 am

Humans do not rule.
Get over yourselves, people.

July 29, 2019 1:48 am

“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”

This statement was based on “expert opinion”. Guess who the experts were.

Richard Betts has unfortunately joined the doomsters and is the author of the new meme, “global heating”, used to back up the “climate emergency”:

Patrick healy
July 29, 2019 5:11 am

O dear – see us on Amazon Facebook and Twitter and Wikipedia.
On this earth can someone show me more biased outfits (ok BBC WaPo nyt ) and yet we keep sending dollars and pounds to support them.
I wish it were otherwise.

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