Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


APECS Webinars

The first and only ice core histories from the Kilimanjaro ice fields

Dr. Lonnie G. Thompson (University Professor, School of Earth Sciences and Senior Research Scientist, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University)


A little history Ice core recovery in the tropics, getting started and lessons learned on the Quelccaya ice cap that would later be applied on getting the Kilimanjaro ice core paleoclimate program started. I explain the reasoning for selecting Kilimanjaro to do field work, first, by giving a short recount sampling shallow snow pits and shallow ice cores from Mt. Kenya, Africa 1978, which set the wheels in motion that would ultimately lead to the successful drilling of the ice fields of Kilimanjaro 22 years later. Essentially no research had been conducted on Kilimanjaro for over 30 years before our journey to the mountain in 1999. I document how we went about setting up the necessary contacts to carry out the first shallow ice core recovery program on Kilimanjaro which would pave the way for the major ice core recovery program conducted in 2000. We conducted back to back research programs on Kilimanjaro in 1992 and 2000 and again in 2006. We have continued to obtain aerial and satellite photos of the shrinking ice fields since 2000 through 2017.

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Alpine Cryosphere Webinar Series

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