Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa
Science, Volume 298, 5593, 18 October 2002.

Lonnie G. Thompson, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Mary E. Davis,
Keith A. Henderson, Henry H. Brecher, Victor S. Zagorodnov,
Tracy A. Mashiotta, Ping-Nan Lin

The Ohio State University

Vladimir N. Mikhalenko
Institute of Geography, Moscow

Douglas R. Hardy
University of Massachusetts

Jürg Beer
Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology

ABSTRACT:
Six ice cores from Kilimanjaro provide an ~11.7-thousand-year record of Holocene climate and environmental variability for eastern equatorial Africa, including three periods of abrupt climate change: ~8.3, ~5.2, and ~4 thousand years ago (ka). The latter is coincident with the "First Dark Age," the period of the greatest historically recorded drought in tropical Africa. Variable deposition of F- and Na+ during the African Humid Period suggests rapidly fluctuating lake levels between ~11.7 and 4 ka. Over the 20th century, the areal extent of Kilimanjaro's ice fields has decreased ~80%, and if current climatological conditions persist, the remaining ice fields are likely to disappear between 2015 and 2020.

DATA:
Download the Kilimanjaro d18O, Ion, and Dust Data
from the WDC Paleo Archive

Kilimanjaro Ice Core

To read or view the full study, please visit the Science website.
It was published in Science, Volume 298, 5593, 18 October 2002.

This project was funded by grant ATM-9910172 from the
U.S. National Science Foundation's Earth System History Program.
Please also note the profile of Dr. Lonnie Thompson and the
Byrd Polar Research Center group in the same issue of Science, pp. 518-522.


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18 October 2002