Story 22. Kilimanjaro
By the middle of 1996 Thermo’s keen instruments were already noticing that a warming trend had recommenced across the planet as he was flying around collecting data, which was disturbing to Dr. Carson and many of his colleagues. Data was beginning to indicate that most glaciers were receding world-wide.
Carson wanted Thermo to take his first flight over the famous Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa where climatologists had been noted changes in ice covering the upper portion of that volcano for decades. Carson wanted Thermo to get a first-hand look at melting glaciers.
Thermo loved breathtaking views, and Africa was always a sight to behold from above. This time around Thermo was unencumbered by any flying partners, such as Fluffy and Puffy, so he was free to explore the mountain. Thermo flew over animal preserves spotting plenty of giraffes, zebras and elephants. Of course, Thermo did not want to run into any of Carbo’s hench molecules, which had been trying to harass if not pick off any scientists on the mount. Carbo could not do anything about satellite observations, but he would dearly love to prevent more ice core work. Of course, Kudzu or other plants could not protect anyone getting samples from icy slopes, so work became very hazardous after Carbo’s unofficial declaration of war against climatologists after the U.S. drought of 1988/1989. Thermo on this day was used to help protect a couple of ice core gatherers whose first names were Elimu and Aaliyah.
Aaliyah and Elimu had never seen the two by four flying thermometer and were awed by the little instrument buzzing overhead as they did their work. The couple showed Thermo much of their ice core sampling work and a lot of photography demonstrating how fast the glaciers on Kimamajaro were shrinking. Once more, as was the case the prior year in the deserts of Arizona, Thermo encountered no problems. “Hmm”, Thermo thought, maybe Carbo has grown tired of expending his energy on me and the scientists.
Little did Thermo know but Carbo was planning a disinformation war and felt little need for direct confrontation using his precious and, at this point in time, few large hench molecules. Carbo was counting on human greed to dismiss any logic and reason coming from science. Thermo and the two humans were allowed to make their merry way down the slopes of Kilimanjaro and take the long trip back to Europe unopposed. Through the rest of 1996 into 1997 there were no big incidents leading to an uneasy calm in the scientific community. What was Carbo’s real next move?
In both the real world and in our fictional story of Thermo, paleo climatologist’s examination of ice cores taken from the North Ice Field Glacier indicate that a continuous ice cap has been covering the north face of Kilimanjaro for over 11,000 years up until the present time. During the period from 1912 to the present more than 80% of the ice cover on Kilimanjaro disappeared. At the current rate of glacier melt, Kilimanjaro is expected to become ice-free sometime between 2022 and 2033. Climatologists have been watching and recording middle and latitude glaciers for several decades because they are a good barometer of warming or cooling trends. Measurements from Kilimanjaro have received the most press and indicate that the Earth’s climate is warming at an increasing high rate into the 21st century.
The text and artwork are copyright by Guy Walton. I would like to get this book published. Please drop me a note if you are willing to help.
My friend Alyssa Josue drew the art.
To see the rest of the World of Thermo stories click: http://www.guyonclimate.com/category/worldofthermo/
The Climate Guy