Mount Kilamanjaro – Tanzania, Africa – still snowy. Photo by Neil Modie, January 2008
Last week, I broke the story of a press release issued by NOAA where they publish an opinion smashing any link between hurricanes and global warming saying that “There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.”
Many readers may recall that Al Gore used hurricanes prominently in An Inconvenient Truth, and mentions hurricane Katrina specifically. Gore claims that increased hurricane activity is caused by global warming.
Last week, when the NOAA press release came out smashing any link between hurricanes and global warming, I wrote to my local newspaper editor, David Little, and said to him “Do you care to bet that AP and Reuters won’t run this story?” He responded: “I hope they do, it seems newsworthy to me.”
Well here is is, 4 days later, not a peep.
A Google search of news stories for “NOAA increased hurricane” (keywords of the press release) reveals a tiny handful of stories about the press release. Could you imagine though if the story said the reverse? What if NOAA claimed they had established a definitive link between global warming and hurricanes. Oh my, the humanity of it all! Gloom, doom, death, destruction, angst, and demands for action on Kyoto. If it bleeds it leads. Compare to all the stories still circulating about hurricane Katrina and global warming.
Here is another story about a point from Gore’s AIT hit parade; Mount Kilimanjaro. Mr. Gore asserted that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming; “Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro.” That was in 2005 in his movie An Inconvenient Truth.
Deforestation seems to be causing Mount Kilimanjaro’s shrinking glacier. Researchers think deforestation of the mountain’s foothills is the most likely culprit. Without the forests’ evapotranspiration of humidity into the air, previously moisture-laden winds blowing across those forests now blow drier. The summit, no longer replenished with water from those winds, started shrinking. Studies show the ice is evaporating through a process called sublimation. You can witness this effect at home, have you ever noticed that ice cubes left in your freezer tend to shrink with time?
Last year, a British Court ruled Gore’s point about Kilimanjaro not to be true.
So when a news story crossed my desk today that said: “Mount Kilimanjaro: On Africa’s roof, still crowned with snow” I had to wonder, will we see this one covered in the main stream media? Or maybe those beacons of truth over at Real Climate will make a note of it?
Don’t hold your breath. But, at least the New York Times travel section covered it. It seems more of a touristy thing to have snow on Kilimanjaro than a scientific issue of truth I suppose.
UPDATE: Kate over at SDA created a collage over time showing the snow of Mt. Kilimanjaro: