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The weather in Iceland

A strong gale warning (more than 20 m/s) is in effect for many parts, except in the east.

There’s a snow storm outside at the moment. I took a walk around the back gardens of the flats I’m staying in. There’s a semi-communal grassy area with benches, though this evening the grass has become covered in snow. It’s just gone midnight. The wind has become stronger. It was a struggle walking against it back to the back door of the flat.

It wasn’t that cold yesterday. Above zero, but I think today has been about 4 below.

They don’t call it Iceland for nothing. And they don’t call Greenland Greenland because it’s green, because it isn’t, and probably never has been. There’s a myth that the Vikings named Greenland Greenland because it was green, but this is untrue. Eric the red wasn’t red after all. The Vikings probably named it Greenland because they wanted volunteers to come forward to settle the place. If they’d called it Icywildernesscoveredinglaciers they might not have got many volunteers. Did they get many Vikings volunteering to settle in Iceland? Not that many I don’t think. It’s always had a pretty small poputation. Went down to 1800 at one point apparently, in the middle ages. They say about a third of Icelanders can trace their roots back to that 1800 people. But there are more immigrants these days. Quite a few Thai restaurants around, and we went to a Mexican place yesterday which put way too much salt in the soup.

Iceland has the largest glacier in Europe.

Vatnajokull covers an area of 8,000 square km (5,500 square miles) and is, at its deepest point, more than 900 metres thick.

But glaciologists say it’s now melting at a rate of a metre a year