As part of an international project called Ice Memory, researchers have extracted and stored 10,000 year-old ice from the alps. Completely untouched by climate change, these samples are considered ancient natural artifacts.
Apparently, it’s not just seeds being stashed away and preserved in one of a growing number of Arctic ‘Doomsday Vaults.’
This month, a team of researchers ventured to Alagna Velsesia in Vercelli and scaled Monte Rosa, the second largest mountain in the Alps and western Europe. Upon arriving at a glacier 4,500 meters above ground level, the team began to extract ice.
Seems a long way to go right? Like travelling oceans in search of salt water.
On the contrary, the five day expedition was very necessary. Triumphantly returning to a Capanna Margherita – a 128-year-old research centre (not a mountain holiday resort) – the team brought back with them four perfectly preserved ice cores formed 10,000 years ago.
Completely undisturbed by humankind, these ice samples are a rare natural remnant of life before climate change. Since the mid-19th century, researchers estimate that the surrounding 15 mile glacier has lost 40% of its area due to global warming.
Considering our Carbon emissions are now at record highs, and are responsible for a 10% decline in Arctic ice every 10 years, time is very much of the essence to collect these ancient artifacts for study now.