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Scotching the climate change sceptics / doubters

From the TimesOnLine:

"The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro will be gone within two decades, according to scientists who say that the rapid melting of its glacier cap over the past century provides dramatic physical evidence of global climate change.

If the forecast — based on 95 years of data tracking the retreat of the Kilimanjaro ice — proves correct it will be the first time in about 12,000 years that the slopes of Africa’s highest mountain have been ice-free.

Since 1912, 85 per cent of the glacier has disappeared and the melting does not appear to be slowing down. Twenty-six per cent of the ice has disappeared since 2000.

The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that the primary cause of the ice loss is the increase in global temperatures. Although changes in cloudiness and snowfall may also play a role, these factors appear to be less important. Even intense droughts, including one lasting about 300 years, did not cause the present degree of melting.

The study, based on terrestrial and satellite photographs, shows the shrinking contours of ice at points between 1912 and 2007. The 12 sq km (4.6 sq miles) of ice coverage in 1912 contracted to 1.9 sq km by 2007, going from two large ice fields to a collection of several smaller, isolated patches."

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