Aug 18, 2019

Icelandic activists host funeral for nation's first glacier to go extinct

A monument is unveiled at the site of Okjokull, Iceland's first glacier lost to climate change in the west of Iceland, Aug. 18. Photo: Jeremie Richard/AFP/Getty Images

About 100 people in Iceland trekked 2 hours up a volcano to formally bid farewell to the glacier once known as Okjokull, offering their condolences to the ice mass that disappeared about a decade ago, AP reports.

The big picture: This was the nation's first glacier to formally go extinct, but Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson says it won't be the last. He predicts all of the nation's glaciers will be gone in 200 years as temperatures continue to rise as a result of man-made climate change, causing global sea-level rise. The glacier had been 6 square miles wide and was a source of clean drinking water.

"The symbolic death of a glacier is a warning to us, and we need action.”
— Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland

What's next: Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nordic leaders this week, where she says she'll make climate change a priority for discussions. "We see the consequences of the climate crisis," Jakobsdóttir said at the funeral. "We have no time to lose."

A monument is unveiled at site of Okjokull. Photo: Jeremie Richard/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper: All the global temperature records broken in 2019, so far

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.