Kilimanjaro Glacier

Refer to court ruling 1

Gore says, “It is evident in the world around us that very dramatic changes are taking place. This is Mount Kilimanjaro in 1970 with its fabled snows and glaciers. Here it is just 30 years later—with far less ice and snow....He; glaciologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University; predicts that within 10 years there will be no more ‘Snows of Kilimanjaro.”

But a 2003 paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research says that global warming is not the culprit. “This study qualitatively demonstrates that solar radiation is the main climatic parameter maintaining modern glacier recession on Kilimanjaro summit, …..”

See Molg, T., D.R. Hardy, and G. Kaser. 2003. Solar-Radiation-Maintained Glacier Recession on Kilimanjaro Drawn from Combined Ice-Radiation Geometry Modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research 108: Abstract.


“The recession of Kilimanjaro’s ice field has become the poster child for the impacts of global warming. Some scientists, politicians and Media have been religious in blaming human activities. However, new research shows that the causes of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s well-documented glacier retreat is far more complex, likely resulting from a natural climate shift that occurred more than 120 years ago, long before widespread use of fossil energy. Thus, scientific evidence informs us that the shrinkage of Kilimanjaro’s ice cap is simply part of the ebb and flow of the endless cycle of nature. This represents a perfect example of why scientific ‘consensus’ does not equal scientific truth.”

The “Snows of Kilimanjaro” are a seasonal phenomena and are not the same thing as the Kilimanjaro glacier.

See The Center for Science and Public Policy report. Global Warming and the Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier.

Glacier National Park

Gore says, “Our own Glacier National Park will soon need to be renamed ‘the park formerly known as Glacier.”

Glacier National Park’s glaciers have been retreating long before anthropogenic global warming could have had much of an impact on them. In 1952 before the talk of global warming, the study below reports the following:

“Grinnell Glacier appears to have followed very well the pattern of decrease in glacier size observed over the world in general for the last 70 to 80 years.”

“Dr. William C. Alden, of the United States Geological Survey, made the first comprehensive study of the geology and the glaciers during the summers of 1911-13 and estimated that there were about 90 small glaciers…several of these individual glaciers at that time apparently had surface areas exceeding 1 square mile.”

“During the 60-year period following the first written or photographic records of the these glaciers, all have been rapidly depleted in both area and volume.”

“Many of the glaciers on the topographic map of the park (completed in 1914) are no longer in existence and others are either inactive or too small to be considered true glaciers.”

“All glaciers lost at least 50 percent of their surface area in the 50-year period following the turn of the present century; some lost as much as 80 percent, and several disappeared entirely.”

See Dightman, R. A. and M.E. Beatty. 1952. Recent Montana Glacier and Climate Trends. Monthly Weather Review 80: 77–81.

Can be obtained from the NOAA Central Library Weather Review http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/data_rescue_monthly_weather_review.html

Columbia Glacier/p>

Gore says, “The red lines show how quickly the Columbia Glacier in Alaska has receded since 1980.”

The Columbia Glacier was also shrinking prior to the rapid build-up in CO2 levels. Over the past 50 years or so, there has been no up or down temperature trend, in the area of this glacier.

The Columbia Glacier has been shrinking since the early 20th century or before.  The Columbia Glacier lost 57 meters of ice thickness from 1911 to 1984, 11 meters from 1965 to 2002, and 8 meters from 1980 to 2002.

See Pelto, M.S. and P. Hartzell, “Change in Longitudinal Profile on Three North Cascade Glaciers during the Last 100 Years,” presented at the 60th Eastern Snow Conference in 2003, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, http://www.easternsnow.org/proceedings/2003/pelto_and_hartzell.pdf.

The above three examples are illustrative only. Similar data can be found and conclusions reached about many of the other glaciers that Gore mentions.