Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa has become a poster child in the world-wide climate change debate. But a group of scientists who study the mountain have spoken up to say that it’s probably not the fault of fossil fuels and carbon emissions in the atmosphere that the snows are melting.
In fact, they’ve been very careful to say that they believe climate change is a huge problem facing our globe. They just don’t see it as a factor on the top of the mountain.
In fact, the snow and ice fields at the top of the mountain have been retreating for at least 100 years, long before fossil fuels were being burned in a substantial amounts to impact climate change. Most other glaciers around the world have started their retreats in the 1970s.
Scientists point to two factors on why Kilimanjaro’s snows are diminishing. One is a simple lack of rainfall and moisture on the mountain. There’s little replenishment of moisture for the snows that have melted.
Second is sublimation. That’s sort of the same process that causes food in your frig to get freezer burn. In sublimation, sunshine and dry air change the snow and ice at the top of the mountain so fast that it goes from a frozen state to a gas state without a fluid state. It simply evaporates into the atmosphere.
Researchers who regularly go up on Kilimanjaro say that they see very little evidence of melting on the ice cap. If the snow and ice was melting, it would be soft around the edges. On Kilimanjaro, those edges are sharp and firm.
So, it just goes to show that you continually have to apply skepticism and scientific research principles in evaluating the claims made by the hot science topic of the day.