the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Ugandan Ice Cap Split in Two by Global Warming!

Posted by Jeff Id on May 6, 2010

I’m not terribly inspired this morning, but in reading the news I found this headline.

Global Warming Splits Ugandan Ice Cap

and this

Ice cap on west Ugandan mountain range splits

and this

Uganda’s highest ice cap splits on Mt Margherita

It sounds pretty serious right, listen to this quote.

Margherita is Africa’s third highest peak and is a popular spot for climbers. Scientists say the glaciers in the Rwenzori range could disappear in the next 20 years because of global warming.

I’m sure they’re right, scientists do say that.  Another quote of great import is below!

KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan wildlife authorities say the ice cap on the country’s western Rwenzori mountain range has split after extensive melting caused by global warming.

Nelson Guma says ice covering Mount Margherita, the second highest peak in Africa, has melted forming a large crevasse some 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) wide.

a LARGE, crevasse 6 meters wide???  Wait a minute, what exactly are we talking about here.

The authorities say a crevasse has blocked access to the Margherita summit – the third-highest peak in Africa, and a popular destination with climbers.

Scientists say glaciers in the Rwenzori range could disappear within 20 years.

The third highest peak, blocked access, disappearing glaciers, it’s definitely serious right?  This was serious news covered by several major news outlets with all the usual headlines of global warming doom.

According to researchers, the ice cap covered 6 sq km (2 sq miles) 50 years ago. It is now less than 1 sq km.

You just have to wonder how dumb the population is when headlines like this take all the major newspapers.  I mean we could build a few snow machines and replace this horrible tremendous event. Wow, calling this headline material is amazing in so many ways.

For scale the Himalayan glaciers cover approximately 400,000 square kilometers (I need a better reference).


7 Responses to “Ugandan Ice Cap Split in Two by Global Warming!”

  1. Patagon said

    What a nonsense!

    a “split” technical term is crevasse. At least the Angola Press gives it the proper name. A crevasse is due to mechanical stress not to melting, and the likely reason is the very wet recent wet season. That is more likely due to excess accumulation than melting. Melting does not create crevasses or splits. Thus this split may well indicate a temporal recovery of Ruwenzori’s glaciers.

    A similar piece of news was online recently regarding an ice block fall in Peru ( http://tinyurl.com/3yd2xq3 ). There as here “glaciers are going to disappear in 20 years”, but nobody stopped to explain why a retreating glacier is advancing to the point of causing an ice avalanche.

    Even if these glaciers are small compared to the Himalayas, they are important for the local population, and they are a strong mountaineering and touristic attraction. After all there are not many glaciers in the middle of tropical Africa. What is a shame is distracting the attention of an otherwise interesting subject, to the tiresome mantra of dooming anthropogenic global warming.

  2. Espen said

    This gave me a Kilimanjaro deja vu: Kilimanjaro is probably the most abused false example of “global warming” damage: the ice on Kilimanjaro is not melting, it’s subliming due to drier air, because the forests have been cleared. Still Kilimanjaro is used again and again, e.g. in speeches in Copenhagen…

    I wonder if there could be a similar situation in Uganda?

  3. Patagon said

    Here there is a paper by Kaser and others pointing out that glacier retreat in Uganda is due to decreased precipitation rather than increasing temperature: http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/tropical-glaciology/literatur/moelg_grl(2006b).pdf

    Note that their claim of unchanged 600 hPa temperatures invalidates the predicted mid troposphere hot spot in many climate models. Kaser has always claimed that Kilimanjaro ice loss is due to decreased precipitation, rather than increased temperature. However, beware of him. He is center stage at the IPCC, the Copenhagen diagnosis and the Glaciergate. I happened to met once a co-worker of him who told me how dishonestly he behaves: even when some of the fundamental equations in his models are wrong he doesn’t care to change them because “reviewers don’t see it”. apparently they are Eq. 2 here: http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/tropical-glaciology/literatur/moelg_jclim(2009).pdf and Eq. 7 here: http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/tropical-glaciology/literatur/moelg_jglac(2009).pdf In both cases the solar radiation term is duplicated, a suspicious coincidence when they try to prove than solar radiation is more important than temperature for Kilimanjaro’s glacier retreat ( http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/tropical-glaciology/literatur/moelghardykaser03.pdf ).

  4. Charlie A said

    Your 400,000 sq km for Himalayan glaciers is very high — perhaps you took if from a WWF report. 🙂

    A source for general info on glaciers is the joint report by WGMS (World Glacier Monitoring Service) and UNEP — and United Nations. See , particularly the two page Chapter 3 at http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/pdfs/3.pdf

    The WGMS/UNEP report is a bit confusing because it jumps back and forth between “glaciers” and “glaciers and ice caps”, but it seems like the global glacier area total is around 160,000 sq km and 685,000 sq km of ice caps. Ice shelves and and ice sheets are additional categories, with global ice shelves being about 1,500,000 sq km and ice sheets being about 14 million sq km — 1.7m for greenland and 12.3 million in Antarctica.

    Central Asian “glaciers and ice caps” is about 114,800 sq km of with a figure of 33,000 sq km for the “ice area” in the Himalayan area.
    http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/pdfs/6_9.pdf

  5. tarpon said

    Doesn’t ice melt in 6 foot crack sections all the time?

  6. GT said

    I checked the ice cubes in my freezer and shockingly they’ve half disappeared. The temp inside is still below freezing so it must be global warming, right? Teleconnections and all that, probably. Press release to come… Developing…

  7. Garry said

    Wow, those glaciers are “splitting” all across the globe. Just like this one, near the foot of Mt. Everest.

    (Also known as the Khumbu Icefall.)

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