Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and rises approximately 4,900 m (16,000 ft) from its base to 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level. Almost 85 percent of the ice cover on Kilimanjaro disappeared from October 1912 to June 2011, with coverage decreasing from 11.40 square kilometers (4.40 sq mi) to 1.76 square kilometers (0.68 sq mi). From 1912 to 1953, there was about a 1.1 percent average annual loss. The average annual loss for 1953 to 1989 was 1.4 percent while the loss rate for 1989 to 2007 was 2.5 percent. Of the ice cover still present in 2000, almost 40 percent had disappeared by 2011. The glaciers are thinning in addition to losing areal coverage, and do not have active accumulation zones with retreat occurring on all glacier surfaces. Loss of glacier mass is caused by both melting and sublimation. While the current shrinking and thinning of Kilimanjaro’s ice fields appears to be unique within its almost twelve millennium history, it is contemporaneous with widespread glacier retreat in mid-to-low latitudes across the globe. At the current rate, most of the ice on Kilimanjaro will disappear by 2040 and “it is highly unlikely that any ice body will remain after 2060”.

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