Mysteries of the Glaciers

by Luke Higgins

 

 

 

One of the reasons I wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro was to see the glaciers before they were completely gone. It’s an amazing site to stand on an area near the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro as the sun is rising and watch the small, remaining glaciers turn pink. It was breathtaking, to say the least.

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The glaciers here are affected by global warming, of course, but there are other reasons, as well. The rain used to blow into the little villages below the mountain, hit the mountain and dump lots of water that the villagers welcomed. The clouds would then rise and drop snow on the top of the mountain that would add to the depth of the glaciers.

But then, the villagers chopped down all of the trees that used to “hold” the clouds in place. Now the clouds don’t deliver water to the villages anymore, and they don’t float above to drop snow on the mountain. The villagers rely on the melting glaciers for water, but soon that water will dry up, and the villagers will have to relocate.

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Not only will the villagers have to leave, but without a supply of water, many of the indigenous plants and those that are endangered will die. The animals will have to migrate away from the mountain. Kilimanjaro could become an area of desolation instead of exceptional beauty.

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