Friday, July 6, 2018
Kibo remains snowy, as illustrated by the Sentinel-2 image above from 3 July. Over the past month, the snowline has been only slowly moving up the mountain. Accumulation at high elevation and within the crater has been ablating slightly; compare the image above with those in earlier postings.
Extensive snowcover on the glaciers and surrounding slopes is keeping the albedo high, minimizing mass loss... at least for the moment.
Kilimanjaro is not alone in being unseasonally snowy in recent months. For example, in the Karakoram Mountains (Pakistan) climbing teams on mountains such as K2 are finding dangerous avalanche conditions due to heavy snowfall, during the core climbing season. More details can be found here.
Quelccaya Ice Cap and the Cordillera Vilcanota in Peru are also unusually snowy for July, the result of La Niña accumulation during the wet season (esp. DJF) and atypical dry-season snowfall in the past couple months.
In Northeast Greenland, the winter of 2018 brought twice as much snow as the long-term average, and snowcover into early July remains so extensive that Sanderlings and other shorebirds may not even attempt nesting this year. The late snow is having large consequences for the ecosystem.
Finally, snow on portions of the Greenland Ice Sheet is resulting in the "least surface ice loss in decades". As Jason Box notes via Twitter (@climate_ice), these persistent extremes in patterns of atmospheric circulation are an expected signature of climate change.