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GEO-3: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK  
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OUR CHANGING ENVIRONMENT: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Map shows the extent of the glacier in 1962 (yellow outline, based on geological survey) and in 2000 (black outline, based on Landsat imagery and aerial survey) View of the south eastern side of Kibo (highest peak of Kilimanjaro)
View of the main caldera on Kibo Increasing hole in the remaining western side of the Northern Glacier Remnants of the eastern side of the Northern Glacier

Mt Kilimanjaro, located some 300 km south of the equator in Tanzania, is Africa's highest mountain. Its permanent ice and snow looming some 5 000 metres above an undulating savanna plain have always fascinated people and attracted many visitors to both Tanzania and Kenya.

But the glaciers of Kilimanjaro are vanishing due to regional warming, probably linked to global warming. The map shows the diminishing extent of the glaciers between 1962 and 2000. Over these 38 years, Kilimanjaro has lost some 55 per cent of its glaciers. According to the Byrd Polar Research Center of Ohio State University 'Kilimanjaro has lost 82 percent of the ice cap it had when it was first carefully surveyed in 1912'.

Landsat data: USGS/EROS Data Center
Photographs: Christian Lambrechts, UNF/UNEP/KWS/University of Bayreuth/WCST