The Italian paleoclimatologist Paolo Gabrielli, at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at the Ohio State University, conducted a day of field research earlier this month at Mt. Ortles in the South Tirol in the Italian Alps, working with 8 colleagues from the Universities of Venice, Pavia, Padua and the Province of Bolzano. These images were all taken on that day, showing the construction of a snowpit, the collection of samples, and the closing of the pit. They document how rapidly the weather can change in the Alps, with clouds moving in quickly.
Gabrielli described his research to GlacierHub in a recent interview. He wrote, “The primary goal of our scientific program on Mt. Orles (3905 m, Eatern Italian Alps) is to identify interactions between atmospheric warming and environmental changes in the ecosystems and human society from the beginning of the Holocene to the current warm period.” He indicated that the ice cores provide data on air temperature, human activities such as industrialization and fire, and ecosystems (plant composition, soils). His team examines many elements of the ice, including stable isotopes of the ice itself, ions, dust, trace elements, pollen, black carbon and organic compounds. He indicated that his research has been funded by NSF and the Province of Bolzano.
Gabrielli added “More information about our project and international partners can be obtained at www.ortles.org and from our paper under discussion at The Cryosphere http://www.the-cryosphere-