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It is also a vivid warning of the glacier's predicted disappearance, a devastating consequence of climate change in a nation where these slow-moving rivers of ice are a cultural and social touchstone.Vatnaj?kull, Europe's largest ice cap and the source of Brei?amerkurj?kull, is thinning rapidly due to rising global temperatures and could be completely gone in 200 years, scientists say.Part of the glacier was clearly visible in the 2012 picture, but it barely appears in this year's image.Glaciers are Iceland's greatest water storage receptacles.Some of Iceland's biggest power plants rely on glacier-fed rivers. As the glaciers melt, more water is flowing to the hydroelectric plants, but in the later part of this century, water volumes are projected to start decreasing, said Bj?rnsson.And while countries further south fret over land loss due to sea level rise as glaciers melt, parts of Iceland are experiencing sea level drop. A 2015 study using data from GPS receivers found that parts of south-central Iceland were rising by about 3.5 cm a year due to accelerated ice loss.In H?fn, a port town in southeast Iceland known as its langoustine capital, the uplift is 1 cm per year, which translates into 1 meter per century.
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