COLUMBUS, Ohio – A preliminary look at an ice field atop the highest mountain in the eastern European Alps suggests that the glacier may hold records of ancient climate extending back as much as a thousand years.
Researchers warn, however, that the record may soon be lost as global warming takes its toll on these high-altitude sites, according to a new study in the Journal of Glaciology.
The glacier, Alto dell’Ortles, is the highest large ice body in the eastern Alps, reaching an altitude of 12,812 feet (3,905 meters) above sea level. It is small, though, measuring barely 0.4 square miles (1.04 square kilometers), and only 10 percent of that is likely to hold a good climate record, the researchers said. (more…)