Ice Memory Project: allow future generations to understand their environment
Launched in 2015 by the Laboratory of Glaciology and Geophysics of the Environment (LGGE), the Ca'Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), under the aegis of the Grenoble University Foundation Alpes, the Ice Memory Project brings together glaciologists from around the world to form the first ice cores sanctuary.
The Glacier, a book that tells the evolution of the atmosphere.
Several missions in threatened environments are planned to collect ice cores. On each site, three carrots will be extracted. One will be systematically analyzed to create a reference database, while the other two will be transported to the highlands of Antarctica where they will be stored in cellars dug in the snow at a constant temperature of -54 ° C, for the next centuries.
Project supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation as part of its Climate Initiative program, Ice Memory also aims to raise the general public's awareness on the challenges of scientific research and climate change.
Anticipating the future changesThreatened by global warming, glaciers contain the memory of our environment and past climates. Precious information is likely to disappear.
Over time, the different layers of ice resulting from the settlement of successive layers of snow contain essential information for climate research. Indeed, the snow packing, captures the impurities and air bubbles that testify to the evolution of the atmosphere over the past years.
The melting of glaciers faster than the progress of science.
What is an ice core?Ice cores are cylindrical samples taken by drilling (or coring) in glaciers. Vertical cutting of carrots makes it possible to extract the various layers of ice which contain valuable information about our climate: traces of heavy metals, acids, pollutants or gases dating back hundreds of years.
Tomorrow, it is possible to decipher the mutations of viruses or bacteria trapped in the ice.
Act now for future generations
After a first coring operation at the Col du Dôme in the Massif du Mont-Blanc this summer, scientists from the Ice Memory project are preparing for the spring of 2017 a new mission in the Andes on Ilimani Glacier.
Located at 6,300 meters above sea level, it is considered the most information rich site, but it is also the most threatened by global warming in the next few years in the Andes. Indeed, the increase in temperature will be greater in the tropical zones around 6000m of altitude, up to + 5.5 ° C by 2100 according to certain scenarios.
The second mission in Bolivia
“ Global warming affects glaciers on a global scale. Thanks to these cores, we have already been able to reconstruct the evolution of the climate with the composition of the atmosphere in greenhouse gases, in heavy metals. ”