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Climate change: Kilimanjaro's loss

Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA doi:10.1073/pnas.0906029106 (2009)


Between 2000 and 2007, the area covered by the iconic glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro shrank by 26%. In addition, the ice thinned rapidly, according to an analysis of aerial photographs and ground measurements by Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University in Columbus and his colleagues.

One of the ice fields, the Furtwängler (pictured below), halved in thickness — by nearly five metres — between 2000 and 2009 at one drill site. The glaciers now cover just 15% of the area they covered in 1912. The researchers predict that, probably owing to global warming, Africa's highest peak will be ice-free by 2033.

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Climate change: Kilimanjaro's loss. Nature 462, 140 (2009).

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