02 Sep 2007

An Inconvenient Debunking of Al Gore

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Kilimanjaro is a snow covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and it is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai “Ngàje Ngài,” the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a defeated liberal. No one has explained what the politician was seeking at that altitude.

Diagnosing Al Gore:

The shrinking of the snows of Kilimanjaro is another dramatic example. Scientists have noted this phenomenon for over a hundred years. A search of the scholarly literature immediately produced Georg Kaser’s 2004 article in The International Journal of Climatology on the subject. He states that all three of the major East African glaciers have seen significant retreat since the late 1800s. Kaser writes, “The dominant reasons for this strong recession in modern times are reduced precipitation and increased availability of shortwave radiation due to decreases in cloudiness”. This dryness began relatively abruptly around 1880. “In contrast to this ‘switch’ in moisture conditions, there is no evidence of an abrupt change in air temperature…. Temperature increases in the tropics on the surface and in the troposphere have been little in recent decades compared with the global trend.” The very shape of the glacier speaks out against Gore’s theory: melting from temperature rise “would round-off and destroy the observed features within a very short time, ranging from hours to days”. Indeed, a year and a half record from 2000-2002 showed that air temperatures never exceeded minus 1.6 degrees C (in fact, Gore’s friend Lonnie Thompson reports that the temperatures never rose above minus 2 degrees C during his research there), and permafrost extends far below the edge of the glacier. (Kaser et al, Int. J. Climatol. 24: 329-339 (2004)) In other words, not only is the recession of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s snowy peak probably not due to CO2-induced temperature rise, it isn’t even driven by temperature rise at all.

Hat tip to Scott Drum.

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