The Ice Memory project is underway
Saving glaciers threatened by climate change: this is the objective of Ice Memory, the international project conducted under the patronage of the UNESCO National Commissions of France and Italy, which involves glaciologists from various countries.
The first act was the 4,200 metres of the Grand Combin glacier, on the border between Switzerland and Italy, where a deep ice core will soon be drilled which will tell centuries of climate history.
“Ice has trapped chemical elements, organic particles and other traces of the environment and climate of the past”, explains Carlo Barbante, co-initiator of the Ice Memory project, Professor at Ca’ Foscari University and Director of IDPA at CNR. “Ice cores are therefore a unique archive of information on the past of the planet and are fundamental to put current and future changes in the right perspective”.
The surveys of the glaciers will be used to produce a 3D reconstruction of the rocky substratum, while a 12-metre-long sample will be analysed in Venice to better prepare the campaign itself.
The end goal of the project is to create the first global ice archive ‘sanctuary’ in Antarctica, using ice cores from glaciers threatened by global warming, and to create a heritage to be analysed by future generations of scientists.
The first samples were taken by the international team on Mont Blanc and in Bolivia and Russia. The Italian team is now organizing expeditions to the Italian glaciers destined to disappear in the coming decades.
The Italian missions are funded by MIUR. The project is coordinated by Université Grenoble Alpes Foundation and brings together CNRS, IRD-France, Université Grenoble Alpes, CNR, Ca’ Foscari University, IPEV France and PNRA.