As a result of climate change, glaciers, particularly non-Polar glaciers, are at great risk of disappearing in the coming decades, or of leaving a quantity of ice insufficient for scientific purposes. The science of analysing ice cores is still young (going back 50 years) and should have the opportunity to develop.
This programme thus makes it possible to create a unique heritage of ice cores from glaciers in the world's temperate zones (Col du Dôme, Mont Blanc ; Montasio, the Italian Alps etc.) in order to preserve this irreplaceable scientific raw material for scientists in the centuries to come. The French and Italian scientists who are the originators of the project are seeking to internationalise it.
To this end, their initiative triggers a movement within the international community of glaciologists to work co-operatively in initiating optimised heritage drillings from the main ice-covered massifs.
On each selected glacier, three ice cores are drilled; one is analysed to provide a detailed benchmark, and two are stored in Antarctica. They are given into the keeping of the Institut Polaire Français Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) and its Italian partner the Programma Nazionale Di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA), to be stored at a temperature below 50° Celsius at the French-Italian base station of Concordia. An international scientific committee, composed of members of stakeholder organisations and under the patronage of international bodies, is responsible for the preservation and the exceptional, appropriate use of these samples by future generations, as scientific progress makes new analyses possible.
Foundation University of Grenoble