Arts, Culture & Media

Geo answer

The "mountains of the moon" figure in today's Geo Quiz. Geographers going back to Ptolemy have tried to document the changing world.

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PtolemyPtolemy

The ancient Greek drew on early accounts of snow-capped mountains near the equator to create his world atlas. These mountains in central Africa are also featured in a new atlas.

The 400-page atlas (published by the United Nations Environment Program) shows the changing environment of Africa. It includes hundreds of satellite images, photographs, and maps. One set of historical photos documents the shrinking glaciers that cover the mountain range we want you to name.

It's a spectacular range best known for its snow-capped peaks. These mountains are believed to be the ones that Ptolemy referred to as the mountains of the moon.
So name these mountains that lie along the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Beating our Geo Quiz is relatively easy ... especially if you consult an atlas. The one just published by the United Nations Environment Program would come in handy. It focuses on all the countries of Africa. The atlas charts in great detail Africa's rapidly changing environmental landscape.

For instance, one set of photographs documents the disappearing glaciers of Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains. And the Rwenzori Mountains are the answer to our Geo Quiz. The mountain glaciers are falling victim to global climate change.

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The UN atlas also features satellite photos that chart the stripping out of Africa's forests, and the draining of its rivers. Marion Cheatle of the UN environment program notes that Africa only produces four-per-cent of the world's carbon dioxide....but countries there will suffer disproportionately from long-term climate change:

"Developing countries are going to be harder hit by climate change than developed countries, who are in a better position to adapt and cope. Kenya will be one of the countries that will be hit in all sorts of directions, although it's been one of the countries that has least contributed to the problem."

The atlas also illustrates some positive changes on the continent. In Niger's Tahouah province, people have been planting trees and maintaining the forest. Photographs show an arid region slowly being brought back to life over a period of thirty years. Cheatle says it's proof that degradation can be reversed.

Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains in 1987 on the left and in 2005 on the right.
Rwenzori MountainsRwenzori Mountains

Climate change has caused the glaciers in this Ugandan equatorial mountain range to shrink dramatically. The UN says they halved in size between 1987 and 2003 (there are fewer white areas on the second image), during which time higher temperatures and decreasing cloud cover also have contributed to sublimation - direct vaporisation of ice without melting.

According to the UN, researchers believe that, at the current rate of reduction, they will disappear within 20 years.

The ancient Greek drew on early accounts of snow-capped mountains near the equator to create his world atlas. These mountains in central Africa are also featured in a new atlas.

The 400-page atlas (published by the United Nations Environment Program) shows the changing environment of Africa. It includes hundreds of satellite images, photographs, and maps. One set of historical photos documents the shrinking glaciers that cover the mountain range we want you to name.

It's a spectacular range best known for its snow-capped peaks. These mountains are believed to be the ones that Ptolemy referred to as the mountains of the moon.
So name these mountains that lie along the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.