A Glacier Disappears

Here is a true life story from Iceland. In 1953 the Brathay Exploration Group had its first expedition to Iceland and one of its scientific tasks involved looking at a small icecap called OK.   Okay, this is not a very normal name for a mountain but this one was in the news because it was slowly shrinking and, beneath it all, was revealed, for the first time in history, a volcanic crater. (Wow, talk about hot and cold!)

We had set ourselves the task of cutting a cross-section through the ice/snow layers to understand something about ice movement.  Our friends in Norway, under the Cambridge University Geographers, were doing just this on their glaciers. We were probably some of the first people to take a serious look at this mountain and our work in Iceland over many years was designed to ‘open windows’ into what was going on.

All that was over 60 years a go and where are we now?  Well, the OK Icecap is back in the news because it has just finally and completely disappeared.

Some say that the Brathay Exploration Group has also disappeared.  But a glimpse at the Brathay website will show that, although scientific exploration is no longer on the Brathay agenda, there is more than ever successful adventurous youth activity taking place.  And so much of this is with people who most need this kind of work.