Tropical mountains could experience greater warming by climate change than climate models currently predict, a new temperature reconstruction on Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak, suggests. For their work, the international group of scientists made use of paleothermometers, a technique of tracking temperature through time which was developed over the past decade by Utrecht University- Earth Sciences researcher prof. dr. Jaap Sinninghe Damsté and his colleagues. The study appeared on January 27 in the open access-journal Science Advances.
For the research, sediment cores taken from the bottom of Lake Rutundu, a volcanic lake on Mount Kenya at an elevation of around 10,000 feet, were investigated by the scientific team. Crucial for the study was the use of paleothermometers to determine temperatures of the past, tells Damsté. “Both techniques were discovered at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and were developed further across the past years with the help of colleagues.”