Saturday, August 15, 2009

Important new paper

Want the most up-to-date details on Kilimanjaro's glaciers and climate? A paper published Monday in the Journal of Climate is a good place to start. Thomas Mölg is first author, with input from the rest of us working together on this issue since 2002; the title is "Quantifying climate change in the tropical midtroposphere over East Africa from glacier shrinkage on Kilimanjaro." Important insights emerge from spatially-distributed mass balance modeling, replete with enough sensitivity testing to satisfy even those skeptical of this approach.

The crucial role of atmospheric moisture variability on glacier mass balance is demonstrated once again (esp. precipitation dependency), along with many other interesting results. Most encouraging is the indication that further study of glacier retreat on Kilimanjaro will move us toward a better understanding of why equatorial East Africa continues to become drier -- a question of great societal and environmental importance.

Access the paper here.

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