Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak, and used to be covered in snow throughout the year despite its proximity to the equator. The ill-effects of global warming however, have put up a drastic picture of the mountain, whose slopes went ice-free this year; probably for the first time in 12,000 years.
According to a study that is based on terrestrial and satellite photographs, and has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the mountain is rapidly losing its glaciers. In 95 years of data tracking since 1912, nearly 85% of the glaciers have disappeared, and 26% were lost after year 2000. The 12 square kilometers of ice coverage in 1912 reduced to a mere 1.9 square kilometers in 2007.
The second part of the study showed that extensive melting and refreezing of ice had taken place in the last 40 years, and the present degree of melting did not happen even during three centuries of drought that the region faced around 4,200 years ago. Researchers have pinned the cause on increasing Earth surface temperatures that get affect high altitudes badly.