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

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The collapse of WOW Air could push Iceland into recession

A WOW Air plane. Photo: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

In the months since Iceland's low-cost carrier WOW Air shuttered, the country's booming tourist industry — its largest — has suffered, spiking fears of a recession, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The airline helped to push Iceland's tourist numbers from a few hundred thousand in 2011 to 2.3 million by 2018, helping the North Atlantic nation to recover from the collapse of its banking system during the Great Recession. But visits from international visitors could drop by 16% this year — including 20% fewer Americans, who are regarded as bigger spenders.

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

Keep ReadingArrowAug 26, 2019

Climate crisis town hall: What you need to know

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ten 2020 Democratic candidates took questions at a 7-hour CNN town hall Wednesday night about how to tackle a "climate crisis."

Why it matters: It was their chance to talk to a broad audience about proposals that some of them have unveiled in just the last few days. Scientific reports from the last 2 years suggest the world is at tipping point to confront the effects of global warming.

What they saidArrowUpdated Sep 5, 2019

Where top 2020 candidates stand on climate policy and the Green New Deal

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a rally May 13. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Green New Deal resolution, introduced in February by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), has helped cement climate change as a real topic in the 2020 presidential race.

What's happening: More Democratic candidates have pitched climate change policy that goes beyond the Green New Deal, largely to prepare for events like CNN's "climate crisis" town hall. The GND — which is more of a call to arms than a strict policy proposal — outlines a 10-year mobilization plan to move the country toward a 100% carbon-free power system and a decarbonized economy.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy