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Dutch: Gore Wrong on Snows of Kilimanjaro

The Netherlands is afire today over a Dutch study concluding Mount Kilimanjaro's snow melt — used as a symbol of AGW by Al Gore — is entirely natural.

by
Leon de Winter

Bio

December 3, 2009 - 10:23 am

Newspapers and news sites in the Netherlands today extensively broke the news of the findings of a research team led by Professor Jaap Sinninghe Damste — a leading molecular paleontologist at Utrecht University and winner of the prestigious Spinoza Prize — about the melting icecap of the Kilimanjaro, the African mountain that became a symbol of anthropogenic global warming.

Professor Sinninghe Damste’s research, as discussed on the site of the Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (DOSR) — a governmental body — shows that the icecap of Kilimanjaro was not the result of cold air but of large amounts of precipitation which fell at the beginning of the Holocene period, about 11,000 years ago.

The melting and freezing of moisture on top of Kilimanjaro appears to be part of  “a natural process of dry and wet periods.” The present melting is not the result of “environmental damage caused by man.”

Professor Damste studied organic biomarker molecules in the sediment record of Lake Challa, near Mount Kilimanjaro, and reconstructed the changes and intensity of precipitation in this part of Africa over the last 25,000 years. They observed an 11,500 year cycle of intense monsoon precipitation.

In the dry period between 12,800 and 11,500 years ago, Kilimanjaro was ice-free.

At the end of this period, a dramatic climate change from very dry to very wet took place — driven by changes in solar radiation — resulting in the creation of an icecap. At the moment, this part of Africa seems to be at the end of a similar dry period, resulting in the disappearance of the famous icecap.

DOSR calls Al Gore’s iconic use of the melting cap of Kilimanjaro “unfortunate” — since it now seems to be mainly the result of “natural climate variations.”

The journal Nature published the highly technical article by Professor Sinninghe Damste’s team.

The website of Elsevier magazine — the Netherlands’ most circulated political weekly — broke the news as follows: “Dutchman discredits Al Gore’s climate evidence.”

Leon de Winter is a novelist and columnist for Elsevier Magazine in the Netherlands. His last novel, The Right of Return is a thriller set in Tel Aviv in 2024. He presently lives in Los Angeles.
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