Ávarp ráðherra, Katrínar Jakobsdóttur við opnun ráðstefnu til heiðurs Sigfúsi Johnsen eðlisfræðingi, 27. ágúst 2010
It is a pleasure to be here and address you at the opening of this conference honoring the work of Dr. Sigfús Johnsen.
This summer is coming to an end, and it has definitely been the warmest summer in years here in Iceland. We have had, what has seemed like endless days of sunshine and warm weather. This is a reminder that the long term climate warming trend is a reality. The effects of global warming on the environment are evident. The fact that glaciers are melting are also unmistakable. In Iceland the glaciers have melted significantly during the past decades and apparently even at a more rapid rate in the past 15 years with glaciers melting up to 0.4% per year.
Glaciers are a part of the landscape here in Iceland. Even for a city person like myself. On clear days I can see the glacier of Snæfellsnes through my office window. The melting of Snæfellsjökull is quite obvious even to the untrained eye, as the glacier now covers only the very cap of the mountain.
The pioneering work of Dr Sigfús Johnsen on ice core research in Greenland is admirable. Forty years of studying glaciers and climate variations have built a foundation that can be used to understand these important issues.
I understand you had to postpone this event due to the eruption in Eyjafjallajokul and the disruption of air travel. The eruption proved to be an important reminder of how the forces of nature are powerful and unpredictable. And that we have to respect nature.
I hope that this meeting will be fruitful, and an enjoyable event.