The Melting Snows of Kilimanjaro.
October 18, 2002 7:53 AM   Subscribe

The Melting Snows of Kilimanjaro. Lonnie Thompson, a professor of geology at Ohio State University, writes in the latest issue of Science magazine that the icepack on Mt. Kilimanjaro may disappear within 20 years. Aside from the fact that most of the recent activity could be pegged to global warming, ice cores indicate that a deep drought 4,000 years ago halted the original growth of the icepack. Interesting info on this also available via OSU's research news area here.
posted by PeteyStock (13 comments total)
If we start into another ice age, this apparent trend could reverse, couldn't it?
posted by alumshubby at 7:54 AM on October 18, 2002

Is it disappearing from both peaks?
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:59 AM on October 18, 2002

I'd post the link to the Science magazine article too, but looks like AAAS restricts access to full members and subscribers only. Darn.
posted by PeteyStock at 8:01 AM on October 18, 2002

Fabulon7: nicely done!
posted by mookieproof at 8:21 AM on October 18, 2002

It could disapear in 20 years, or the trend could reverse on itself, cuz he ain't got no crystal balls and past history is no guarrantee of future performance.
Speculative doom is a surefire way to get your name in the papers though.
posted by BentPenguin at 8:42 AM on October 18, 2002

Props for the python reference
posted by BentPenguin at 8:43 AM on October 18, 2002

Has it occurred to any of you that the snows of Kilimanjaro might be melting because natural rock formations are just so damn hot?
posted by soyjoy at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2002

Bentpenguin, Soyjoy - if you need to read up on Global Warming - as in the fact that 1) it's real, 2) we're causing it, and 3) nasty "surprises" are anticipated, the US National Academy of Sciences has some great online publications - through their "online open book" program - such as Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions (2001) and Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (2002) by the Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Research Council. Here some other National Academy of Sciences related titles and you like these titles, you might be curious about Nature and Human Society: The Quest for a Sustainable World
posted by troutfishing at 10:16 AM on October 18, 2002

Yes, troutfishing, we know what the activists say. But the scientists point out that there isn't necessarily any correlation to temperate-zone glaciers.

1) I agree with you that there is warming.
2) You're kidding. A fact? A highly debatable fact. Don't overstate your argument.
3) Gotcha, C.L. Watch for falling skies. No doubt climate change requires preparation. But it's not an insurmountable disaster, either.
posted by dhartung at 11:05 AM on October 18, 2002

whoa, whoa, whoa - I ain't signing on to any of this global-warming-ain't-real malarkey. Sorry if I appeared allied with dhartung and bentpenguin. I guess I thought now that even the Bush administration has admitted the factual nature of humans' culpability in global warming, there wouldn't be so much of this "only a theory" talk.

Troutfishing, I'm completely down with you, but I have a feeling you didn't follow the link in my post.
posted by soyjoy at 11:49 AM on October 18, 2002

so, let me wax ignorant and ask,

will this be the last bit of snow on the continent of africa? if not, where else is there?
posted by oog at 11:59 AM on October 18, 2002

Dhartung - I wasn't aware that the US National Academy of Sciences was an "activist" group. You have a curious sense of "activism". Those online books I linked to are written by comittees of the leading scientists in their fields and reference the most highly regarded peer reviewed literature.

Denial ain't just a river don't have a law degree, do you? If you did, you would have studied the many varieties of rhetorical, debating tricks. So far, I've noticed your use of 1) ad hominem attacks (a classic way of sidestepping and avoiding discusion of the actual issue at hand) and 2) wild mischaractorization - as in calling the publications of US National Academy of Sciences the work of "activists": if this is so, then the President of the US is a "lobbyist" and Mt. Everest is a"minor geological formation".

The scientists - in the interest of scrupulous honesty - do indeed point out that there isn't necessarily any correlation between Global Warming and melting temperate zone glaciers. This statement is less than a 1/2 truth though, for having said that, those same scientists will note that the balance of evidence suggets there IS a connection.

Soyjoy - Sorry, that was my mistake.
posted by troutfishing at 12:47 PM on October 18, 2002

Good, maybe it'll finally thaw out that damned leopard...
posted by Hildago at 11:38 PM on October 18, 2002

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