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Global Warming and Kilimanjaro

There has been a tremendous amount of interest in Kilimanjaro the last few weeks. Ever since Al Gore’ movie, An Inconvenient Truth, made the claim that Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are melting due to global warmings. Many pundits debate whether this is a result of global warming or something else, like deforestation. Needless to say, Kilimanjaro has been popular lately.
Scientists do not dispute whether the glaciers are melting or not, and many claim that it has 20 more years at the most. Critics cite that deforestation is actually the cause of the melting.

Regardless of who is right, or who is wrong, in 20+ years, we are still going to have millions and millions of people whose traditional water source has disappeared – and this is apparently happening in the rest of mountain communities too.

By Peter Baxter | Permalink | 5 comments | June 7th, 2006
Tags: Global Warming, News, Opinion, Scientists
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By Cheesehead | June 8th, 2006

Wisconsin doesn’t have anything like mountains. We did, however, have glaciers here. It is a geologic fact. Indeed, the very drumlins, kames and eskers deposited here 35 million years ago were my training ground for my own trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2004.
I also watched some interesting Nova specials about Kilimanjaro as part of my preparation. One particular documentary featured a gentleman with polio who wanted to climb Kili and discover the significance and impact of the glaciers melting on the ecosystem around the mountain.
One of the conclusions of the research was that the water that melted and pooled from the glaciers was insufficant to account for the watershed and that most of the water that comes off the mountain is from springs, the trees collecting water vapor and rain.
I will not debate the fact the world polutes too much or we should take great care with our trees but I think Al Gore should watch a little more public TV.
I submit to you that the same circumstances that melted the glaciers in Wisconsin 35 million years ago could be in play now on top of Kilimanjaro and elsewhere. I additionally submit that humanity hasn’t always been a worthy steward of our planet but even our worst efforts render us mearly witnesses to the forces of nature that are beyond even Al Gore’s control.

By Wendall | November 2nd, 2007

Cheesehead, I think the biggest argument in Al Gore’s presentation is the speed of change. Sure the glaciers on Kili might have already been melting but I’m sure Wisconsin’s glaciers did not recede at the rate we’re seeing on Kili.

By Ed | November 6th, 2007


The Wisconsin Glaciers came and went 4 or 5 times depending upon which expert is talking. It wasn’t one global event, it was several. I have no idea what kind of time frames we are talking about, but nobody was here to write it down or attempt to create global panic either when they showed up or left.

I can imagine that if any folks were here to see it, they thought the world was ending.

Kilimanjaro’s glaciers were already sublimating when the first explorer saw it hundreds of years ago. How fast or slow this process should be taking is Banta fodder.

I’m obviously of the opinion “man” is simply a witness of natural events while also agreeing “man” can and should be a wiser steward of our planet.

Thanks for your comments.

By Wendall | November 26th, 2007

So you’ve got a bet either way, Ed?

By Skycall | January 15th, 2008

Cheesehead has it right on the money. Glaciers and ice ages have come and gone many times before man ever got here and will come and go long after man is gone. To think man is that omnipitant to actually cause Global Warming is just arrogant thinking. Al Gore’s movie is just that; a movie. It is not a scientific documentary based on facts. It is some wealthy individual that can make a movie and show it to the world and say it is all true. The truth is Al Gore uses 20 times as much energy as any average American and probally 200 times as much energy as the average African. But if Global Warming is happening, why isn’t Everest melting? Last time I checked, it’s part of the globe too. I believe there is “Urban Warming” caused by concreting enough land in a small area causung the local tempeture to rise. Global Warming is caused by the Sun. Period!!


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