The white ice on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, that Hemingway wrote about so lovingly in his book “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” is melting away. A survey has found that 82 percent of the ice field that has existed on Kilimanjaro since 1912 has melted, says Lonnie G. Thompson of Ohio StateUniversity.

“The ice will be gone by 2015 or so,” he says. He mapped the ice cap last year and compared his results with a survey conducted in 1912. Some of the rivers and streams in Tanzania that are fed by the mountain’s snow melt havealready dried up. “A hospital in Tanzania that depended on a river now has to get its water elsewhere,” says Thompson.
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Global warming effect sea levels and weather conditions, but there is an additional threat that few people are aware of-melting glaciers will release ancient microbes and bacteria that have not roamed the earth for 20 million years, since before human beings were even on the planet. Our immune systems will not be prepared for the onslaught.

Buried under thousands of feet of ice in the Antarctic are a series of fresh water lakes that could possibly hold a thriving community of microbes. Researchers have located at least 76 lakes there, including one that is about 5,400 square miles, the size of Lake Ontario, and another, Lake Vostok, that is 3,000 feet deep.
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The hurricane season arrives in the summer, and scientists warn that stormier weather awaits us in the future. A conference of climatologists in Australia have predicted an increase in the severity of coastal storms over the next century, as sea levels rise dramatically.

Dr. John Church says that global warming will cause a rise in sea levels anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet over the next 100 years. Higher air temperatures will also cause ocean temperatures to rise.

These factors will increase the frequency of coastal storms, increasing threats to life and property. This is of particular concern in Australia, where most of the population lives near the coast.
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