Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Cores from Glacier in the Eastern European Alps May Yield New Climate Clues

11.01.2012
Researchers are beginning their analysis of what are probably the first successful ice cores drilled to bedrock from a glacier in the eastern European Alps.

With luck, that analysis will yield a record of past climate and environmental changes in the region for several centuries, and perhaps even covering the last 1,000 years. Scientists also hope that the core contains the remnants of early human activity in the region, such as the atmospheric byproducts of smelting metals.

The project, led by a team of Ohio State University scientists and their European colleagues, retrieved four cores from a glacier high atop Mount Ortles, a 3,905-meter (12,812-feet) peak in northeastern Italy. Three were 75 meters long (246-feet) and one was 60 meters (197 feet). They are significant in two ways:

First, scientists had previously believed that the glacier was at too low an altitude to contain ice cold enough to have preserved a clear climate record.

While the top one-third of the cores do show that melt water had percolated downwards, possibly affecting the record, the remaining two-thirds of the cores contained unaltered ice from which the research team should be able to retrieve a climate history.

Secondly, since no other ice core analyses have been retrieved from the eastern side of the Alps, this work should paint a much clearer picture of climate change in this portion of Europe.

“This glacier is already changing from the top down in a very irreversible way,” explained expedition leader Paolo Gabrielli, a research scientist at Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center. “It is changing from a ‘cold’ glacier where the ice is stable to a ‘temperate’ glacier where the ice can degrade.

“The entire glacier may transition to a temperate state within the next decade or so,” he said. That probable change made the retrieval of these cores now even more important so that the ice record won’t be lost for future research.

Gabrielli said that previous research has shown already that there is an increase in summer temperatures at high elevations in the region of up to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) over the last three decades. In spite of the melting in the top parts of the cores, the researchers hope to find a record that begins in the 1980s and proceeds back several centuries, or perhaps more.

Based on weather patterns, ice in the cores that was formed during past summers will likely paint a picture of past climate in an area close to the mountain, perhaps only 10 to 100 kilometers (6.21 to 62.1 miles) away.

But ice formed during past winters should provide clues to a much wider area, Gabrielli said, perhaps as much as 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

An analysis of the ice might also answer some important questions about the region, such as the climate change in the region during the transition between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

The research team, with co-leader Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished Professor of Earth Sciences at Ohio State, spent two weeks on the glacier, drilling the four cores. Along with him, Victor Zagorodnov, also from Ohio State, worked on the project.

Other team members included researchers from the University of Venice, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the University of Innsbruck, the University of Padova, the University of Pavia and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano which provided logistical support to the project.

Support from the project came from the National Science Foundation.

Contact: Paolo Gabrielli, (614) 292-6664; Gabrielli.1@osu.edu
Written by Earle Holland, (614) 292-8384; Holland.8@osu.edu

Earle Holland | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

Further reports about: Climate change Eastern Glacier Science TV Southern Alps environmental change

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column
27.05.2020 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht An international team including scientists from MARUM discovered ongoing and future tropical diversity decline
26.05.2020 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black nitrogen: Bayreuth researchers discover new high-pressure material and solve a puzzle of the periodic table

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days

29.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>