Husavik

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Language Icelandic
September 15, 2011 7 p.m. local time

© 2003 WikiCommons/Juta cc by sa 3.0

Husavik is on the north coast of Iceland and one of the oldest inhabited sites in the country. A commercial hub for Iceland‘s agricultural industry, Husavik is also popular with tourists because it is the whale watching capital of Iceland.

Iceland, as you might guess from its name, has a lot of ice. More than 10 percent of the country’s surface is covered by glaciers. But because Iceland is getting warmer, those glaciers are rapidly disappearing. Some glaciers have already shrunk by 75 percent over the last century. The loss of ice will reduce the amount of water available to surrounding natural areas and the hydroelectric industry in Iceland. All the while, melting glaciers will increase global sea levels.

© 2005 Flickr/Gian Martino Franchi cc by 2.0

The country isn’t all in a deep freeze, however. It is also home to volcanoes and hot springs, signs of an immense source of clean energy just below the surface. In 2000, Husavik completed the construction of a new power plant that produces electricity from geothermal energy — which harnesses the heat stored in the earth. Then, after the water is used to generate power, it is recycled to heat everything from individual homes to Husavik’s greenhouses. Geothermal energy is used to power about 90 percent of the homes in Iceland.

Presented by Sigurður Eyberg

Image used with permission: Sigurður Eyberg

Calling Sigurður Eyberg’s life “interesting” is an understatement. A graduate of the East-15 Acting School in London, he is recording artist who released a full-length album earlier this year. And after receiving his M.S. in Environmental and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland last year, Sig now serves as the Project Manager for the foundation Gararsholmur, a scientific institution dedicated to environmental discussion and research. He is now at work on a book about how to reduce human impacts on the climate and the natural world, and is creating a documentary about his quest to live within the limits of sustainability.

To learn more about this presenter, click here.