Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

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joebartels
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Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by joebartels » Nov 02 2009 8:51 pm

By SINDYA N. BHANOO
Published: November 2, 2009

The ice atop Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has continued to retreat rapidly, declining 26 percent since 2000, scientists say in a new report.

Yet the authors of the study, to be published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reached no consensus on whether the melting could be attributed mainly to humanity’s role in warming the global climate.

Eighty-five percent of the ice cover that was present in 1912 has vanished, the scientists said.

To measure the recent pace of the retreat, researchers relied on data from aerial photographs taken of Kilimanjaro over time and from stakes and instruments installed on the mountaintop in 2000, said Douglas R. Hardy, a geologist at the University of Massachusetts and one of the study’s authors.

The photographs measure horizontal shrinkage of the ice, and the stakes indicate the reduction in depth. Both are decreasing at the same rate, Dr. Hardy said.

Researchers studying the mountaintop, including those involved in this study, differ in their conclusions on how much of the melting could result from human activity or other climatological influences.

The lead author of the study, Lonnie G. Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, has concluded that the melting of recent years is unique.

In 2000 he extracted deep cylinders of ice from Kilimanjaro’s glaciers and found that the higher layers were full of elongated bubbles — signs that melting and refreezing had occurred in recent years.

There was no presence of the bubbles in the deeper layers of the cores, Dr. Thompson said.

If his dating of the ice core layers is accurate, surface melting like that seen in recent years has not occurred over the last 11,700 years.


But Georg Kaser, a glaciologist at the Institute for Geography of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, said that the ice measured was only a few hundred years old and that it had come and gone over centuries.

What is more, he suggested that the recent melting had more to do with a decline in moisture levels than with a warming atmosphere.

“Our understanding is that it is due to the slow drying out of ice,” Dr. Kaser said. “It’s about moisture fluctuation.”

But Dr. Thompson emphasized that the melting of ice atop Mount Kilimanjaro was paralleled by retreats in ice fields elsewhere in Africa as well as in South America, Indonesia and the Himalayas.

“It’s when you put those together that the evidence becomes very compelling,” he said.

Cabinet to Meet on Mt. Everest

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s cabinet will hold a meeting on Mount Everest to highlight the threat from global warming, which is causing glaciers to melt in the Himalayas, an official said Monday.

The cabinet will meet at the Everest base camp this month, just before an international climate change conference in December in Copenhagen, said Deepak Bohara, the forest and soil conservation minister.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and other cabinet members will fly by plane to the 17,400-foot camp, the starting point for mountaineers trying to climb the world’s highest mountain.

Last month, the cabinet of Maldives donned scuba gear and held an underwater meeting to highlight the threat of global warming to that nation, the world’s lowest.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by rwstorm » Nov 08 2010 11:36 pm

I'll start with my belief that scientists shouldn't be activists. Leave that to the politicians and cable-tv pundits.
I say the scientists should become vocal activists when the politicians and tv pundits attack their research for very biased reasons. Jim Lyding got it right in his comments above.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 09 2010 4:13 am

Jim Lyding wrote:All I need to know about most of these climate change-denying politicians is that they also don't believe in evolution.
Yes. Hearing about people who espouse creationism is becoming so tiresome. At first, I was very shocked to find out that there are so many who choose, in the face of all evidence, to be so ignorant. Now I am just disappointed in America and Americans, and very cynical about the whole political realm which makes it possible for those who espouse the most egregiously narrow-minded view of the world to attain power. Power over ME! It is absolutely sickening.

I think I will go hiking. Bye.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by PaleoRob » Nov 09 2010 6:45 am

chumley wrote:I'll start with my belief that scientists shouldn't be activists. Leave that to the politicians and cable-tv pundits. :M2C:
Many of the critiques of science, from A Canticle for Leibowitz to Michael Crichton's works, say that scientists shouldn't stop caring about things after their results are published. Scientists need to examine how discoveries and technology will be used after they have been invented. That would require scientists to be activists. Heck, if scientists hadn't been activists, the United States would have never developed the nuclear bomb - but maybe Germany would have? Scientists need to be responsible citizens, just like the rest of us. If that means championing their research cause, because there is a significant risk to not doing so, then why not? Surely no one says that cancer docs are being irresponsible when they talk about the dangers of cancer-causing activities, and try to reduce/eliminate cancer, right?
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by BobP » Nov 09 2010 7:40 am

Religious intrepretation can and does reconcile with creationism. The two aren't mutually exclusive to all religious(to some yes and they usually yell loudest).

Climate change happens...its the cause thats at issue.

There are fanatics on both sides of every hot topic.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by Vaporman » Nov 09 2010 6:26 pm

azbackpackr wrote: Hearing about people who espouse creationism is becoming so tiresome. At first, I was very shocked to find out that there are so many who choose, in the face of all evidence, to be so ignorant.
It takes just as much blind faith if not more to believe in the THEORY of evolution as it does to believe in creationism. :)
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by Jim_H » Nov 09 2010 7:01 pm

:scared:
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by PaleoRob » Nov 09 2010 7:34 pm

Vaporman wrote:It takes just as much blind faith if not more to believe in the THEORY of evolution as it does to believe in creationism. :)
You say theory like its a bad thing. Theories are predictive - they can anticipate future results. In addition, no test designed to invalidate the theory has ever shown the theory to be invalid. And besides, the facts don't require belief. :)
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by Vaporman » Nov 09 2010 10:07 pm

I made a point to call it a theory becuase people often tend to forget that it still only JUST a theory that the public schools try to indoctrinated us with since grade school all the way up thru the overpriced liberal universities. :roll: Just because something gets repeated a gazillion times doesn't make it any truer... Let's be honest, there's not much in the way of fossil record to back up evolution and there's no easy way to really test out macro evolution. That test would take 100 million years to conduct and by then if evolution is true we may have evolved into a totally different species by then. :lol: And micro evolution is a different beast in and of itself and even if some silly tests 'prove' micro evolution that doesn't necessarily mean macro evolution is equally true...

Not really wanting to start a full on debate, just defending my position. :)
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p

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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by JimmyLyding » Nov 09 2010 11:03 pm

The fossil record is one of the main reasons why the theory of evolution makes so much sense. Scientific theories require scientific evidence and we all know that the "evidence" given to us by the Bible and the other innumerable religious texts fail that test. There is exactly ZERO evidence of Biblical creation, Joseph Smith finding gold plates that spelled out the word of God, or that the Miwok Indians were created by the coyote god. No evidence = no theory.
Our public schools teach students about evolution because it is by far the best theory to explain how life on earth arose and continues to evolve. A better way to think about the situation may be that if a widely-held theory is repeated a "gazillion" times it is pretty likely that said theory has a pretty solid basis from the evidence rather than those ideas which require a blind allegiance to faith.
The Other Jim rightly points out that some members of the religious right have claimed a "gazillion" times that their opinion of how life arose on earth is correct, and we all know that those people have zero evidence to back up their assertion. It makes no sense to me to denigrate a widely-accepted argument about a scientific theory while throwing out ideas like about how it would take 100 million years to test evolution while believing that the earth is about 6700-years-old.
Here's a primer on microevolution, BTW: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microevolution

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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 10 2010 6:27 am

Last I heard in biology class 5 years ago, evolution has not been considered a "theory" for years, but is considered a fact.

I have always found it amazing that people think evolution is all about humans descending from monkeys. For some reason, this bothers people, that is all some people will talk about when evolution comes up. Anyway, that aspect holds less interest for me than the concept of deep time, and looking back through the layers of rock at mammals, dinosaurs, amphibians, fish, etc. The fact that the human mind really cannot conceive of the vast depths of time and space is what interests me. (Some eastern religions do address deep time, incidentally, and have cosmologies that go back billions of years.) To me, the scientific study of the history of the earth is far more complex and interesting than any organized religion could ever be. However, I am an agnostic, not an atheist. To be an agnostic, one only has to be honest and say "I don't know."
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by PaleoRob » Nov 10 2010 6:29 am

Vaporman wrote:I made a point to call it a theory becuase people often tend to forget that it still only JUST a theory that the public schools try to indoctrinated us with since grade school all the way up thru the overpriced liberal universities.
Again, you say theory like it is a bad thing. Theory isn't just any idea, it is a specific idea that allows people to predict results of tests and has not been disproved. It isn't a matter of people repeating it over and over and over. It is a matter of people testing it over and over and over, and none of those tests prove it wrong. To flip the argument around, would you say that gravity is "just people repeating it over and over again", because that is what is taught? Certainly not, right? And are you saying that overpriced conservative universities don't teach evolution in their science classes?
Let's be honest, there's not much in the way of fossil record to back up evolution
This is entirely not true. I could spend pages and pages and pages explaining different fossil sequences that support evolution if you want.
and there's no easy way to really test out macro evolution. That test would take 100 million years to conduct and by then if evolution is true we may have evolved into a totally different species by then. :lol: And micro evolution is a different beast in and of itself and even if some silly tests 'prove' micro evolution that doesn't necessarily mean macro evolution is equally true...
Micro and macro evolution are generally made-up terms used primarily by creationists to be able to accept some empirical evidence while rejecting other evidence that doesn't fit into their schema. Besides, if "micro evolution" occurs, over a couple thousand years, why is it so hard to accept that the end result will be very different than the starting point? Another comparison - you and I start walking from the same point. I walk in a straight line for 1000', you deviate to the left 1 inch for every foot. Sure, it doesn't look like much at the start - there isn't much change. At the end, though, you end up 83' away from me. Small changes add up to big changes.
Not really wanting to start a full on debate, just defending my position. :)
Well, I always chime in when people discuss this, and this is certainly a more civil forum than most.
Just going to add - nothing wrong with defending your position, and I certainly respect peoples right to believe what they choose. Like I said, though, the facts don't require belief.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 10 2010 6:31 am

Hi, Rob, glad you posted. I put up one above yours.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by imike » Nov 10 2010 7:21 am

Yesterday's facts are todays falsehoods.... history teaches us that most firmly. It is all only theory if considered in the broader scheme of things...
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by chumley » Nov 10 2010 7:55 am

Wow. This Kilimanjaro place must be really cool. :lol:
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by Vaporman » Nov 10 2010 5:44 pm

chumley wrote:Wow. This Kilimanjaro place must be really cool. :lol:
:sl:
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p

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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by JimmyLyding » Nov 11 2010 12:34 am

My former roommate hiked to the top of Kiliminjaro a few months ago. Should have pics when he gets back in December. That one is definitely on my bucket list. For now I'll have to content myself with Mount Diablo here in the San Francisco Bay area. Bearing Down on getting some fossil pics.

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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by rdavisiii » Nov 11 2010 7:30 am

Kili kicks A$$!! If climbing the worlds largest free standing mountain is not enough they have large carnivorous cats and driving is the scariest thing you do there. Next up for Africa, Mt. Kenya.

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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by joebartels » Jun 09 2011 10:43 am

Global warming in recent years has been blamed on increasing concentrations of gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The permanent shift to extreme heat would occur first in the tropics and reach North America, South America and Eurasia by 2060, the scientist report in a paper that will be published in the journal Climatic Change Letters
http://apnews.excite.com/article/201106 ... FV3G2.html
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by Jeffshadows » Jun 09 2011 10:55 am

imike wrote:Yesterday's facts are todays falsehoods.... history teaches us that most firmly. It is all only theory if considered in the broader scheme of things...
"Theory" is not synonymous with "Guess." We wouldn't have "Todays falsehoods (sic)" were it not for the continuing advance of scientific understanding. This is solely based on ever-newer theories.
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Re: Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat

Post by joebartels » May 27 2013 5:18 pm

it's all cool now

terrestrial vegetation will save us
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