A new report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has estimated that Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers will be gone within the next 20 years. Based on aerial photographs and extracts of ice, the authors measured the pace of the glacial retreat to arrive at their time frame.
Scientists have calculated that Kilimanjaro’s ice sheet has shrunk 85% since 1912, with the rate accelerating in recent. In the last 9 years, the three remaining ice fields have shrunk by 26%.
In 2006, National Geographic News published some stunning satellite images of Africa, courtesy of United Nations Environment Program. One of the images shows the glacial retreat occurring on Mount Kilimanjaro between 1976 and 2006. Earlier predictions of the glaciers disappearing by 2020 were obviously incorrect.
Glacial retreat is attributed to lower precipitation, and not global warming.