Inconvenient untruth

Anyone who watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth will remember the claim that the snowcap on Mount Kilimanjaro is melting due to warble gloaming, though people who’ve done much reading of sceptical blogs and publications will have long been aware that this was complete nonsense. In fact even people who just watch news even from pro-warmist sources like the BBC should already have been aware that that particular claim was constructed on sand, as the reporting of this court case makes clear:

Mr Gore’s assertion that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming – the court heard the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established the snow recession is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.

And from Son of Climategate we found that certain others were aware of it too.


date: Sat Sep 18 08:48:09 2004
from: Phil Jones

subject: Re: kilimanjaro
to: “Jenkins, Geoff”

The data that are used for the grid box should be within the grid box. They will be low
elevation sites though, and this may be part of the reason. It might be worth seeing if
there is anything in the U/A data – but I reckon there won’t be much in that region.
I’ve heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures – that we don’t have access to, and there was little warming in them. The same situation applies for Quelccaya in Peru and also some of his Tibet sites. Lonnie thinks they are disappearing because of sublimation, but he can’t pin anything down. They are going though.

Lonnie’s email is “Lonnie G. Thompson”
You could try emailing Ellen as well both might be in the field.
Ellen Mosley-Thompson 
I’m off much of the next 6 weeks at meetings.
I hear you’re retiring soon – hope all goes well ! I’m sure you’ll still be in the field somewhere.
At 10:32 16/09/2004, you wrote:

we have been concerned that people often use the melting glacier on kilimanjaro as an
example of impacts of man-made warming. you may have seen some stories countering this on the sceptics websites.

I got philip brohan to look at temps there (see attached) and there isnt any convincing consistent recent warming in the station data. but your gridded CRUtem2V does show a recent warming. presumably that is because (as philip suggests) the gridded stuff has influences from quite a large radius, and hence may reflect warming at stations a long way from kilimanjaro?

would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?
be grateful for your help
Dr Geoff Jenkins
Head, Climate Prediction Programme
Hadley Centre
Met Office
FitzRoy Road, EXETER, EX1 3PB, UK
tel: +44 (0) 1392 xxxxxx
mobile: 0787 966 1136

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email

WUWT also points out that it’s interesting that Dr Lonnie Thompson’s opinion, as reported in emails, on the cause for ice loss on Kilimanjaro seems to have been quite different from that given in more public fora, such as a PR right before a big climate meeting in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Inconvenient untruth.

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