A zoom on Iceland:
glaciers and the richness of earth

Iceland,  known for its breathtaking natural beauty, holds contrasting landscapes shaped by volcanic activity, geysers, hot springs, and glaciers. However, this beautiful scenery is under threat due to the effects of global warming. Most visibly, the melting of its glaciers. 

Paul Taylor


What exactly is a glacier and why is it important?
Glaciers, are large bodies of ice, formed over years, often centuries due to overaccumulation of snow (storing nutrients and important information). As they melt shaping the land below them while continously moving, they deliver nutrients into “lakes, rivers, and oceans”. These released nutrients can potentially catalyze the bloom of pytoplankton, which essentialy is “the base of aquatic and marine food chains”. Thus, making glaciers vital in the essence of ocean life. Glacier melt also sustains “stream habitats for plants” animals and also peaople, making glaciers vital not only for oceans, but also for wildflife and sustainable communities.

Covering around 10% of the planets surface, glaciers play a crucial role in the maintenance of sustainable communities, wildlife, and aquatic systems. Aditionally, these grandious bodies of ice, serve as the largest reservoirs of freshwater, holding about 69% of the worlds freshwater.

Rapid glacial melt caused by global warming, can affect a rise in sea level, causing flooding and other natural disasters. Overall, preserving glaciers is necessary.

Glaciers in Iceland
11% of the country is covered in ice, being an important source of water and energy. Unfortunately, rising temperatures due to global warming are causing these glaciers to shrink at an alarming rate, threatening not only Iceland's environment but also its economy. (NSDIC.ORG)

In order to prevent the melting of Iceland's glaciers, it is crucial to take immediate action,   addressing the root cause of global warming - greenhouse gas emissions. This requires reducing our use of fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal power.

Check out
OLAFUR ELIASSON’S take on the melting of glaciers and climate change:


Glaciars, rich in nutrients, in history, impact the planet greatly. Their preservation is necessary.

Themes in Icelandic landscapes:

1. Contrast
Characterized by contrast and dramatic beauty. The country's unique geology and weather patterns create a dynamic landscape. Most notably, sharp contrasts between light and dark, rough and smooth, and hot and cold (fire and ice). 

2. The unmeasurable/mystical
The vastness of glaciers, the contrast of landscapes and the beauty. Perhaps this is why humans are so captivated by nature, because of it’s unmeasurable essence, where the mystery lies. 

3. Circular architecture
A design approach that aims to create sustainable and efficient buildings by utilizing renewable materials, minimizing waste, and maximizing energy efficiency. Use of local materials (as much as possible) and creating harmony with the environment.

p.s: The duality of icelandic landscape, represented in light vs dark, hot vs cold, etc, could be a reflection of the nature of life: good vs evil or ying and yang, life and death. Opposing energies create balance.  Is balance necessary for a peaceful existance?  Can you have peace with imbalance? Is evil essential for a balanced life? Also, going back to the unmeasurable essence of nature, some elements or aspects of life can not be described or understood, there lies the mystery, an infinite space where reflection can take place. Our obsession to know, grasp and understand everything can be soothed with the acceptance that most things are out of our control.

One last comment, I felt a bit uneasy and uncomftarble with the thought of taking a plane and driving around, adding on to the pollution and not making a real effort to preserve the environment. This trip opened my eyes to this, traveling with purpose, and being aware of the impact you have. It led me to make research on ways to reduce your carbon footprint etc. Iceland is making a huge effort in preserving their land. For more info read>https:/www.government.is/topics/environment-climate-and-nature-protection/national-parks-and-protected-areas/

Until next trip,
xoxo Cris