AFRICAN ICE will lay plaid?



02.12.03, the


The famous ice cap of the highest peak in Africa could disappear in 20 years, depriving scientists a unique object of research. Zimbambviyskie scientists say that ice could be saved — a giant blanket covering him. Snow-covered Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is not only the main object of interest of tourists and a national symbol. Cap of frozen water that grew many millennia, stores unique information about the climate of East Africa. "If it disappears, we lose really priceless information about the climate of the recent past," — says climatologist Euan Nisbet of London University Hollouvey (Zimbabwean by birth).

The Snows of Kilimanjaro may soon be gone forever

In 2000, an expedition to Kilimanjaro found at the top of only 2.2 square kilometers of ice — 80% less than it was in 1912. At this rate, the peak is completely laid bare in 2020, according to the expedition leader Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University. Thompson's group collected samples of ice that would reveal about the state of the East African climate over the last 11,700 years — the only source of such information.

Although the melting of the glacier and you can blame global warming, the researchers believe that the main reason was the cutting of forests on mountain slopes. Deprived of moisture replenishment of forests, the winds become more dry. Deprived of replenishment, the glacier began to rapidly melt in the hot equatorial sun.

Planting forests is the best long-term solution, but the trees are growing too slowly to save the ice. It is therefore necessary for a temporary solution, says Nisbet. As such it is a white blanket that will reflect the sun's rays and inhibit the flow of dry air. This should be a white veil made of synthetic material, attached to climbing 30 meters up the peaks — it evaporates at the top of most of the frozen water.

Other scientists said it made skeptical Thompson believes that these measures are unlikely to win enough time. According to him, cheat nature too difficult. After all, the veil will reflect sunlight, but the heat can penetrate and accumulate under it — thereby speeding up the melting of the ice only.






















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