Global warming may save the snows of Kilimanjaro


This is a very interesting blog entry. I haven’t been able to find further evidence of the claim aside from the CNN story that the blog references. Rather than quoting the CNN story though, I thought it was more interesting to read the thoughts of the author of the blog especially since the title of the blog is “Classically Liberal” but the stance is not typical of a liberal in the US political scene.

The author begins by describing multiple references to snow disappearing on Kilimanjaro but then proceeds to ridicule these references by citing the CNN story. For the purposes of this entry, I will focus on the new claims and leave it to you to click through to the entire treatment.

Apparently he and Gore and many others are wrong. The consensus has fallen apart. Of course those insane warming skeptics have been saying that the decline of the snows on Kilimanjaro were not related to warming. But the media cranked up their scare stories, Al Gore released his film, and numerous environmental groups all said the skeptics were merely in the pay of Big Oil. How many times have we heard that line?

Now it should have been obvious that global warming had nothing to do with the change in snow levels. The summit of the mountain is so high the temperature rarely gets above freezing. But over and over the environmental doom sayers were arguing that warming was the culprit. Now CNN reports that ?the disappearance of Kilimanjaro?s ice is driven by solar radiation.? And this is not the first time that claims of warming induced melting have proven less than accurate (also see here).

The researchers attributed the ice decline to complex interacting factors, including the vertical shape of the ice’s edge, which allows it to shrink but not expand.

Decreased snowfall, which reduces ice buildup and determines how much energy the ice absorbs, also plays a role.

Much of Kilimanjaro’s ice is vanishing by sublimation — where ice at very low temperatures converts straight to water vapor without going through a watery phase — rather than by melting, the scientists said.

Fluctuating weather patterns related to the Indian Ocean also could affect the shifting balance between the ice’s increase, which might have occurred for decades before the first explorers reached Kilimanjaro’s summit in 1889, and the shrinking that has been going on since.

The disappearing ice cap of the “shining mountain,” which gets a starring role in the movie, is not an appropriate poster child for global climate change.

You can read the whole article here.

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