INTO THIN AIR

Kilimanjaro Could Melt by 2022

Right on track with scientists' predictions, the dusty snow tops on Mount Kilimanjaro could be completely thawed by as early as 2022. A report out Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that 85 percent of the ice cover present in 1912 has disappeared, and since 2000 about 26 percent of it has melted away. "[T]he loss of ice is right on track," said the study's main researcher. The study examined volume of ice loss, not just surface coverage, and found that the ice atop Africa's highest peak is thinning rapidly. Rising temperatures are not the only cause; drier and less cloudy conditions are also contributing to the ice evaporation. A similar rate of melting is also occurring for glaciers in South America, Asia, and Oceania.