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Scientists and citizens in Iceland are mourning the death of a glacier—the first moving sheet of ice to officially succumb to global climate change.

Observers hiked two hours up a volcano to the former site of the OK Glacier to lay a plaque commemorating the now extinct ice river.

WBUR reported:

The plaque, called “A letter to the future,” reads in both English and Icelandic: “Ok is the first Islandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

[Rice University professor Cymene Howe] says the plaque’s direct messaging was intentional. The team of researchers wanted to use the glacier’s passing as a call to climate action.

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