Kilimanjaro Climate Change Impacts
Kilimanjaro - Global Warming
2015 – 2020. Mt. Kilimanjaro’s remaining ice fields likely to disappear between 2015 and 2020. “Six ice cores from Kilimanjaro provide an ~11.7-thousand-year record of Holocene climate and environmental variability for eastern equatorial Africa, including three periods of abrupt climate change: ~8.3, ~5.2, and ~4 thousand years ago (ka). The latter is coincident with the "First Dark Age," the period of the greatest historically recorded drought in tropical Africa. Variable deposition of F- and Na+ during the African Humid Period suggests rapidly fluctuating lake levels between ~11.7 and 4 ka. Over the 20th century, the areal extent of Kilimanjaro's ice fields has decreased ~80%, and if current climatological conditions persist, the remaining ice fields are likely to disappear between 2015 and 2020.” (Lonnie G. Thompson, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Mary E. Davis, Keith A. Henderson, Henry H. Brecher,1 Victor S. Zagorodnov, Tracy A. Mashiotta, Ping-Nan Lin, Vladimir N. Mikhalenko, Douglas R. Hardy, Jürg Beer, “Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa,” Science, October 18, 2002:Vol. 298. no. 5593, pp. 589 – 593) View map of Mt. Kilimanjaro. See interview with glaciologist, Dr. Lonnie Thompson.
2020. Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier projected to completely disappear by 2020 if melting continues at current rates. “Ohio State University geology professor [Dr. Lonnie Thompson] has been studying glaciers and climate change for more than 20 years. Last year he published the findings from research he has done on Kilimanjaro. According to Thompson's data, some 30 percent of the mountain's ice cap has disappeared since 1979. Fully 82 percent has melted since the glacier was first mapped in 1912. ‘If the [Kilimanjaro] glacier continues to melt at its current rate, it will have completely disappeared by 2020,’ says Thompson. ‘And that's a conservative estimate.’” (David Gough, “The Melting Mountain,” Newsweek International, February 25, 2002 citing findings published in Lonnie G. Thompson, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Mary E. Davis, Keith A. Henderson, Henry H. Brecher,1 Victor S. Zagorodnov, Tracy A. Mashiotta, Ping-Nan Lin, Vladimir N. Mikhalenko, Douglas R. Hardy, Jürg Beer, “Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa,” Science, October 18, 2002:Vol. 298. no. 5593, pp. 589 – 593) View this AAAS interview with glaciologist, Dr. Lonnie Thompson. Listen to this NPR interview with Dr. Lonnie Thompson, Global Warming's Impact on Glaciers, NPR Talk of the Nation, February 10, 2006.
It was all too much like visiting a sick friend in failing health. (2)
— Dr. Lonnie Thompson, Glaciologist
On the rapid decline of
Mt. Kilimanjaro’s melting glaciers
following an expedition to the summit