From The New Scientist
Glaciers within the Ötztal Alps in Austria are at the moment melting and could also be misplaced inside 20 years, however this may not be the primary time people have seen this sort of change. A brand new evaluation reveals that glaciers on this area fashioned simply earlier than or even perhaps inside the lifetime of Ötzi the Iceman, a mummified physique discovered simply 12 kilometres away in 1991.
Pascal Bohleber on the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and his colleagues drilled 11 metres into the Weißseespitze summit glacier, right down to the bedrock, at 3500 metres altitude and picked up two ice cores. They then used radiocarbon courting to analyse microscopic bits of natural materials extracted from the ice cores and located that the glacier is 5200 to 6600 years outdated. Ötzi is assumed to have lived between 5100 and 5300 years in the past, and his physique was discovered preserved in ice.
The glacier’s age means it fashioned throughout a time referred to as the mid-Holocene heat interval, when Earth’s local weather was hotter than it’s now. It’s also dome-shaped, which Bohleber says is uncommon within the Alps and implies that the ice has seen little or no motion over time, which means we are able to use it to check the local weather when it fashioned.
Learn extra: Ötzi the Iceman’s final journey revealed by moss present in his abdomen
“Extra data on the mid-Holocene heat interval, when the glaciers had been smaller than at the moment, is direly wanted in order that we are able to higher predict how the glaciers will reply to the anticipated future local weather over the subsequent 50 years,” says Bethan Davies at Royal Holloway, College of London.
Evaluating ice cores from totally different websites tells us fairly a bit in regards to the previous local weather in that area, says Bohleber, however that will get tougher because the glaciers thaw. Meltwater makes it harder to drill for ice cores and causes the glaciers to slip downhill, exposing the traditional ice to fashionable contaminants.
Learn extra: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2263399-eastern-alps-may-have-been-ice-free-in-the-time-of-otzi-the-iceman/#ixzz6hDkuLfkW