The snowcaps of Mount Kilimanjaro may define it no longer

The frosty peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro portrays a vivid image of picturesque beauty as well as a depiction of the frigid death of exasperated souls whose only dream was to reach the top.  These associations may take on a new meaning with today’s climate change.

Icy_remains

Icy Remains by Thompson 2009

Recent field studies portrayed in ScienceNews states that Tanzania’s African peak has lost more than a quarter of the ice cover from 200 to 2007.  It is up for debate as to why melting is occurring: whether it’s  due to global warming or from the direct evaporation of ice  due to a climate “shift that starved the peak of precipitation.”

Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar Research Center in Columbus, estimates that at this rate of melting, ice fields will disappear from Kilimanjaro by 2022.

It’s hard to determine what future generations will think of these majestic mountaintops.  What’s left, remains in pictures.

photo_kilimanjaro

Adapted from Mount Kenya Climbing

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~ by awhite2 on November 5, 2009.

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