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Words in the News
Wednesday 07 November 2001
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Mount Kilimanjaro
Global Warming
Summary: From the upper slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, once an icefield but now bare rock, Greenpeace campaigners - via video-link - have offered participants in the negotiations on climate change in the Moroccan city of Marrakech a vivid example of the effects of global warming. This report from Elizabeth Blunt.
   
The News Listen  
  The snows of Kilimanjaro are one of the wonders of the natural world. Year-round winter right on the Equator, high on the roof of Africa. But as the world gets warmer, the snows are retreating. Greenpeace members had set up their video-link right on the snow line. Participants in Marrakech could see the shadowy figure of Joris Thijssen perched on bare rock, with snow on the pinnacles behind.

"Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this press conference live from the Kilimanjaro. At the moment I am at approximately five thousand metres high, the roof of Africa..."

Nothing could be more dramatic than the retreat of the Kilimanjaro ice cap. When it was first mapped in 1912, there were twelve square kilometres of ice and snow. Research published at the beginning of this year showed that more than eighty percent of that has now disappeared. A third of the original ice mass has melted in just the last twelve years, and it looks as if the rest of the permanent ice cap could be gone by 2020. If the shining cone of Kilimanjaro melts, the world will have lost something of great beauty. But there will be practical consequences as well. The melting glaciers water the lower slopes of the mountain, and those are the most densely farmed and densely populated parts of Tanzania.

Elizabeth Blunt, BBC, Marrakech.

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  wonders
something remarkable to be admired

 
   
  the snows are retreating
there is less and less snow, it's moving back from where it used to be

 
   
  perched
if you perch, you sit lightly on the edge of something - like a bird on a branch

 
   
  nothing could be more dramatic
the retreat of the ice cap has been very sudden and noticeable

 
   
  ice mass
the volume and weight of the ice

 
   
  shining cone
the dazzling white snow and ice on the top of the mountain

 
   
  will have lost
if the snow and ice melt, the result will be the end of this beautiful site - but it's not yet certain this will happen

 
   
  practical consequences
real, rather than theoretical, results

 
   
  the lower slopes of the mountain
the areas of the mountain nearer the ground

 
   
  densely farmed and densely populated
there is a lot of farmland and a lot of people in a small area

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

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