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NYT/AP: Climate Change Melts Kilimanjaro's Snows

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:07 PM
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NYT/AP: Climate Change Melts Kilimanjaro's Snows
Climate Change Melts Kilimanjaro's Snows
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 16, 2006

NARO MORU, Kenya (AP) -- Rivers of ice at the Equator -- foretold in the 2nd century, found in the 19th -- are now melting away in this new century, returning to the realm of lore and fading photographs.

From mile-high Naro Moru, villagers have watched year by year as the great glaciers of Mount Kenya, glinting in the equatorial sun high above them, have retreated into shrunken white stains on the rocky shoulders of the 16,897-foot peak.

Climbing up, ''you can hear the water running down beneath Diamond and Darwin,'' mountain guide Paul Nditiru said, speaking of two of 10 surviving glaciers.

Some 200 miles due south, the storied snows of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tropical glaciers first seen by disbelieving Europeans in 1848, are vanishing. And to the west, in the heart of equatorial Africa, the ice caps are shrinking fast atop Uganda's Rwenzoris -- the ''Mountains of the Moon'' imagined by ancient Greeks as the source of the Nile River.

The total loss of ice masses ringing Africa's three highest peaks, projected by scientists to happen sometime in the next two to five decades, fits a global pattern playing out in South America's Andes Mountains, in Europe's Alps, in the Himalayas and beyond.

Almost every one of more than 300 large glaciers studied worldwide is in retreat, international glaciologists reported in October in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. This is ''essentially a response to post-1970 global warming,'' they said....

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Warmer-World-A...
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