Mt. Kilimanjaro Snow Cap Okay

August 15, 2008 / 2 Comments

mtkilimanjaro Mt. Kilimanjaro Snow Cap Okay

An Ohio State University researcher claimed that Mt Kilimanjaro will lose its snow cap between 2015-2020. He made is guesstimate based on photos taken in 1912 and 2001. At that time, Mt. Kilimanjaro had lost 82% of its snow cap/ice cover.

“The sky is falling in Africa, the sky is falling in Africa!” was the alarmists’ cry.

Turns out that according to an English University study that the claim may not be accurate after all. A Portsmouth University group climbed the mountain and analyzed the ice, the rate at which the snow cap is/was melting and came to a different conclusion.

First – the temperature on top of the mountain was considerably below zero degree centigrade.

Second – the snow on top of Africa’s highest mountain peak is bound to change due to climatic changes

Third – the snow cap is still big enough to sustain the current erosion at the present rate.

So now, what are global warming alarmists going to point at?

source


  • Tom

    1) One expedition doesn’t make a trend, and one day of observation doesn’t make a season.
    2) The photographic evidence is pretty compelling: the glacier is melting.
    3) Sustain the currfent for how long? Until the current rate of melting reduces the glaicier to bare rock?
    4) Why is the glacier retreating? Because snowfall is less than snowmelt. It doesn’t make any difference what the temperature is on a given day, if annual melting plus sublimation (that’s direct movement from solid (ice) phase to gaseous (water vapor) stage) is greater than snowfall, you will see a retreating glacier.
    5) Why is the annual snowfall diminishing? That’s a better question, and one related to global climate change. Certainly rainfall in tropical Africa is reduced, and that means less snow on Kilimanjaro.
    6) Summarizing: You better duck, Bill, lest the sky hit you on the way past.

  • Mark

    Tom,
    1) You are correct on many points, but I believe you are wrong on the main one.
    2) It is true that the glaciers (and photographically more compelling, the ice cover) are disappearing from Kilimanjaro. A PNAS article that just fcame out supports that general conclusion.
    3) Virtually no snowfall, and sublimation (not melting) of the current ice fields is the primary cause of the shrinking.
    4) But global warming has not been attributed to be the cause of the
    decline. Duane et al. in Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research (2008) stated that “the reason for the rapid decline in Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are not primarily due to increased air temperatures, but a lack of precipitation. Indeed our data show that temperatures remain well below freezing at site 10, with daytime maxima averaging -2.1 degrees Celsius.”
    5) The sublimation is occurring due to dry air blowing over the ice fields. Lower snowfall on the mountainsides is due to the lower humidity of the dry winds blowing up from th esurrounding landscape.
    6) The consensus is that the drier winds now blowing on Kilimanjaro are the result of land use policies in the local area. To be specific, deforestation (conversion to agriculture). Winds no longer blow over the forests, picking up humidity to deposit on the mountainsides as snowfall. This has been written about in the Journal of International Climatology (June 22, 2006), Nature (November 24, 2003), Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (August 25, 2004). The New York Times on July 4, 2006 had an article by Philip M Boffey, in which he wrote that the National Academies panel judged that Kilimanjaro’s glaciers “may be shrinking primarily as a continuing response to precipitation changes earlier in the century.”
    7) I agree that the glaciers are melting. I agree that global warming exists. but to argue hat every event on the planet is due to Global Warming is scientifically erroneous.
    8) A Mr. Justice Burton of the British High Court found that Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” contained nine statements that were not supported by mainstream scientific consensus, including the Kilimanjaro story. He further ruled that the film could only be distributed to all secondary schools in England it was accompanied by a Guidance giving the other side of the argument (BBC News, Oct 11, 2007).