* Astronomy

Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: Mountains of the Moon


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Mountains of the Moon
Permalink  
 


Uganda's disappearing glaciers

The Rwenzori mountains on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo lie only a few miles north of the equator, but for thousands of years they have hosted tropical alpine glaciers.
See more



__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Rwenzori mountains
Permalink  
 


The Rwenzori Mountains, previously called the Ruwenzori Range (the spelling having been changed in about 1980 to conform more closely with the local name), and sometimes the Mountains of the Moon, is a mountain range of central Africa, often referred to as Mt. Rwenzori, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with heights of up to 5,109 m at Coordinates: 023'09"N 2952'18"E. The highest Rwenzoris are permanently snow-capped, and they, along with Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya are the only such in Africa.
Read more



__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Mountains of the Moon
Permalink  
 


Fabled equatorial icecaps will disappear within two decades, because of global warming, a study British and Ugandan scientists has found. In a paper to be published 17 May in Geophysical Research Letters, they report results from the first survey in a decade of glaciers in the Rwenzori Mountains of East Africa. An increase in air temperature over the last four decades has contributed to a substantial reduction in glacial cover, they say.

The Rwenzori Mountains--also known as the Mountains of the Moon--straddle the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Uganda. They are home to one of four remaining tropical ice fields outside of the Andes and are renowned for their spectacular and rare flora and fauna. The mountains' legendary status was set during the second century, when the Greek geographer Ptolemy made a seemingly preposterous but ultimately accurate statement about snow-capped mountains at the equator in Africa: "The Mountains of the Moon whose snows feed the lakes, sources of the Nile."

The glaciers were first surveyed a century ago when glacial cover over the entire range was estimated to be 6.5 square kilometres. Recent field surveys and satellite mapping of glaciers conducted by researchers from University College London, Uganda's Makerere University, and the Ugandan Water Resources Management Department show that some glaciers are receding tens of metres each year and that the area covered by glaciers halved between 1987 and 2003. With less than one square kilometre of glacier ice remaining, the researchers expect these glaciers to disappear within the next twenty years.

"Recession of these tropical glaciers sends an unambiguous message of a changing climate in this region of the tropics. Considerable scientific debate exists, however, as to whether changes in temperature or precipitation are responsible for the shrinking of glaciers in the East African Highlands that also include Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania) and Mount Kenya" - Richard Taylor, University College London Department of Geography, who led the study.

Taylor and his colleagues found that in the Rwenzori Mountains since the 1960s, there are clear trends toward increased air temperature without significant changes in precipitation.
A key focus of the research is the impact of climate change on water resources in Africa. Glacial recession in Rwenzori Mountains is not expected to affect alpine river flow, the scientists say, due to the small size of the remaining glaciers. It remains unclear, however, how the projected loss of the glaciers will affect tourism and local traditional belief systems that are based upon the snow and ice, known locally as "Nzururu."

"Considering the continent's negligible contribution to global greenhouse-gas emissions, it is a terrible irony that Africa, according to current predictions, will be most affected by climate change. Furthermore, the rise in air temperature is consistent with other regional studies that show how dramatic increases in malaria in the East African Highlands may arise, in part, from warmer temperatures, as mosquitoes are able to colonize previously inhospitable highland areas" - Richard Taylor

The research was funded by The Royal Geographical Society and The Royal Society.

Source: American Geophysical Union

Mountains of the Moon
Expand (93kb, 800 x 530)
Latitude:, 0.333333. Longitude:, 29.8833.
Lying slightly north of the Equator, the Ruwenzori Range , now officially called Rwenzori Mountains (the spelling having been changed in about 1980 to conform more closely with the local tribal name) has a maximum breadth of 50 km and extends south-north for 130 km, between Uganda and Congo.
The highest Rwenzoris (5,109 m) are permanently snow-capped, and they, along with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, are the only such in Africa.

As a side note, the history of the river Nile is surprisingly short....
It was only one million years ago that a large uplifting, of the area that would become the Lake Victoria plateau and the `Moon mountains`, formed.
The newly formed mountains then collected the rain and (due to a slight sagging of the crust) created the Victoria Lake chain that would eventually form the head of the Nile.
The actual Nile only burst out of the lake system, and flowed north, only several thousand years before the establishment of the Egyptian civilisation...

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard