This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
In mid-August, a group of Frenchmen, Italians, and Russians converged on a glacier near Mont Blanc, in the Alps. They weren’t skiers, or hikers, or a rogue band of yodelers. They were glaciologists, and they were there to collect columns of ice from the glacier, Col du Dôme. The team began by setting up camp: They erected a bright orange geodesic dome tent, assembled their ice drill, and dug a snow cave to stash their cores. Helicopters came bearing dehydrated food, water, shovels, sleeping bags, computers, sunscreen, and a few beers.
Glaciers all around the world are melting, mostly because of climate change. That’s tragic, but an abstract loss for most people — fewer square footage of pristine, frigid ice somewhere far away. But if you’re a paleoclimatologist, you’re alarmed for a different reason: Glaciers are data, and all that precious data is disappearing. So what’s a group of concerned European scientists to do? Fly the at-risk melty stuff to somewhere even colder, of course — like Antarctica.
For the project, dubbed “Protecting I... Read more