Thursday, October 18, 2007
Global warming and the fate of Kilimanjaro's ice
The glaciers of Kilimanjaro's summit have unquestionably declined since the first survey in the late 19th century, but this decline probably has little or nothing to do with the emerging human influence on global climate, despite assertions to the contrary in "An Inconvenient Truth" and elsewhere. By considering the energy and mass balances of Kilimanjaro, which are distinctly different from those of midlatitude glaciers, we arrive at an alternative explanation for the decline. Examining IPCC model projections for the 21st century, we arrive at a surprising prediction of the future of Kilimanjaro's famous ice. This research was conducted with George Kaser of the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Dr. Philip Mote is a research scientist with the Center for Science in the Earth System (which includes the Climate Impacts Group) and Washington State Climatologist.