This mountaintop has been hidden under the ice of Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland for centuries. Not anymore since all the glaciers in Iceland have melted for seventeen years straight. PIC Dr.Jaus

Y ou probably did not know that eleven per cent of the surface of Iceland is covered in glaciers. Still, that is.

Seems you might have to rush your dream trip to Iceland if glaciers are on top of your adventure list. Recent research confirms most are melting so rapidly a few even cannot be called glaciers for much longer.

There is a distinct definition of a glacier as opposed to a body of snow or ice. In a nutshell it is a mass of slow moving ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains. And quite a few of our glaciers, at least ten of them, are melting out of that definition as we speak.

A sad thing indeed for a glacier is a tremendous thing to see and to witness its progress, as is possible in Iceland, is something to remember until the end of days. The glaciers are also an intricate part of the country no less so than all our volcanoes. They twist and shape this land every day and create some of the most fantastic places on earth in the process. Just take in Jokulsarlon if you have doubts.

Seriously though, you still have time as these giants of mass will not melt completely in the next few years. The largest one, Vatnajokull glacier, might even still be visible in the next century.

In the meantime, these snowmasses, almost formally known as glaciers, will soon be no more: Thrandarjokull glacier, Hofsjokull East glacier, Torfajokull glacier, Kaldaklofsjokull glacier and Ok glacier to name a few on the brink of falling out of the glacier divison.


View A farewell to Iceland glaciers in a larger map