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Iceland holds funeral for lost glacier

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Former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson (C) holds a speech before the installation of the plaque commemorating the loss of Iceland's Okjoekull glacier to climate change, during a public ceremony in Borgarfjordur, Iceland, 18 August 2019. EPA/STR

Icelandic officials, activists and others have said goodbye to what once was a glacier, with poetry, moments of silence and political speeches about the urgent need to fight climate change.

Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurdsson pronounced the Okjokull glacier extinct about a decade ago.

On Sunday, he took a death certificate to the made-for-media memorial.

After about 100 people made a two-hour hike up a volcano, children installed a memorial plaque to the glacier, nicknamed OK.

This was the first of Iceland's glaciers to disappear but Sigurdsson said all of the nation's ice masses would be gone in 200 years.

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir called the glacial loss a consequence of the climate crisis.

© AP 2019