Written by James E. Kamis on 23January2015
Busy lives leave us with little time to study overwhelming amounts of climate science data, shift through countless research studies, or keep pace with ever-changing global warming policies and politics. Reasonable people just want the “answer” from organizations they choose to trust…NASA, NOAA, IPCC, and Media. Why then take the time to read a story from an unknown blogging geologist, with a super nerdy title, and a boring lead photo?
Because something, not sure what, just doesn’t seem right about this whole global warming thing. Your uneasiness has elements of the following:
- Explanations and theories from trusted experts are just not fitting observed climate trends.
- As Predictions of significant global warming and sea level rise have failed, climate experts have resorted to atypical absolutist types of statements. These statements feel overly dramatic and needlessly defensive.
- It’s difficult to completely understand the theoretical relationship between Earth’s Carbon Cycle (CO2) and atmospheric temperatures. It’s a moving target, in a state of constant modification by climate experts.
- Are the Alpine and Polar Glaciers melting or not melting?
- Why haven’t skeptics given up, and why have their ranks grown? They don’t appear to be making money from their efforts. What then is their reason for persisting?
- Finally, given all these doubts and concerns, is it really time to immediately institute worldwide tax increases, emission restrictions, and give complete control of climate science to a select few? Can we really trust these folks? Maybe we should slow down for a moment, and then listen to the non-insider scientists.
OK…ready to listen? Here is the truth about what drives climate variation…No one has the answer. However, significant amounts of new data and research have allowed us focus on two probable theories; “Global Warming” and “Plate Climatology”.
Obviously not a very “absolutist” type of answer, and one that is well…unsatisfying. However, it is the absolute truth. We just don’t have enough data and research to conclusively choose between the two most probable theories. To better understand the basic premises of these two theories follow these links:
Global Warming Theory and Plate Climatology Theory
Still not sure who to trust or what to study next? Quite understandable, it’s a lot of information to digest. Old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? Answer…One bite at a time.”
Fine, let’s take that first bite by tackling/dissecting what is offered by climate experts as absolute proof man-made global warming is melting high mountain alpine glaciers, Mount Kilimanjaro.
Climate experts and politicians have emphatically stated that rapid and uncharacteristic melting of these glaciers in recent times is clear evidence of man-made atmospheric global warming. Worldwide news agencies have dutifully reported this contention and labeled the eminent death of the Mount Kilimanjaro glaciers an ecological disaster.
There are several problems with this theory and the accompanying overly dramatic statements.
First, Mount Kilimanjaro is not an extinct volcano; in fact it has been quite active in modern times. Two hundred years ago it emitted volcanic ash, heat, and likely chemical rich gases from one of its vents, Mount Shira. Currently the Mount Shira portion of the greater Mount Kilimanjaro volcanic complex is still emitting sulfuric aerosols and heat. Just ask climbers who smell its rotten odor as they near the Shira vent. This area is also “hot to the touch”. In 2003 scientists found that molten lava was present 1,310 feet below the summit of the Mount Kilimanjaro volcanic complex.
In a broader geological sense Mount Kilimanjaro is part of the giant very active East African Rift System. This world class plate tectonic “divergent” boundary that is tearing the entire continent of Africa apart.
The 2008 violent eruption of a companion volcano to Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Lengai (see photo), vividly demonstrates the active nature of East African Rift System. Geologically this eruption is also telling because Mount Lengai is located along the same geological fault segment of the giant East African Rift System as Mount Kilimanjaro (see map and cross-section).
Secondly, vast amounts of research and observations concerning high alpine glaciers, including those near the summit of the 19,314 foot Mount Kilimanjaro, prove “Sublimation” is a large component of ice retreat. Unknowingly we are all very familiar with sublimation, it's freezer burn. Given time, ice cubes in the freezer portion of your home refrigerator mysteriously shrink. So how is that possible?
Works like this: Air in your freezer is cold and dry; ice cubes placed in this environment essentially evaporate. The ice converts directly from a solid state to a gaseous state, then vented by the refrigerator fan. No liquid water is formed during this process. Same thing is happening to the Mount Kilimanjaro glaciers.
So what causes rapid melting of the Mount Kilimanjaro high alpine glaciers? Climate experts contend man-made atmospheric global warming is the undeniable choice. However, given that air temperatures at this elevation never drop below freezing, that there is probable glacial sublimation, and most importantly, volcanic activity, global warming is in fact very deniable.
Significant amounts of geological and atmospheric evidence indicates by “da-fault” that the actual cause of glacial melting atop Mount Kilimanjaro is volcanic heat flow and sublimation.