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Iceland’s Glaciers May Expand after Snowy Winter

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Iceland’s Glaciers May Expand after Snowy Winter

Sólheimajökull glacier, South Iceland

Sólheimajökull glacier. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

After the unusually heavy snowfall last winter—20 to 30 percent more snow fell compared to the average winter in the past 20 years—Iceland’s glaciers may expand for the first time in two decades, according to glaciologist Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson at the Icelandic Met Office.

The heavy snowfall coupled with a cold spring preventing sunshine and heat from melting the excess snow which fell on glaciers, may halt the otherwise steady depreciation of Iceland’s glaciers, Þorsteinn elaborated on ruv.is.

“We have heard on the news lately that the highland has been covered in unusually large amounts of snow and that roads have been opened later than usual,” Þorsteinn said.

“On Hofsjökull, for example, which is in the central highlands, in early May, it turned out that the winter harvest, which was unusually voluminous, measured up to eight meters [26 feet] at the top of the glacier,” he added.

Þorsteinn explained that all of the country’s largest glaciers have depreciated in the past 20 years. According to forecasts, they may disappear in 150-200 years.

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