Ice core samples to be proposed as historic climatic heritage

About 160 specialists from 22 countries attended the conference on glaciology held in the city of Valdivia.

Ice core samples

More than 160 specialists from 22 countries attended the conference on glaciology “Ice and Climate Change: A Vision From the South” VICC 2010, held in the city of Valdivia, Chile. They debated about the results of the Copenhagen Conference and agreed to propose UNESCO to consider ice core samples as historic climaticheritage.

Representatives from the Working Group on Snow and Ice (WGSI) explained that the ice in the poles and in high summits is a very sensitive indicator that reflects climatic variations with very precise data.  The physical, chemical and biological signs in the ice provide detailed information about past climate, and are essential to model future impacts of climate change.

In the Andean region, especially in the tropical and subtropical zones, a rapid trend for recession, loss of area and thinning of glaciers has been observed, as reported by all the national representatives to the WGSI.

In short, recovering and storing these core samples will be fundamental so that, in the future, when extracting these registries is no longer possible, research that allow us to improve our understanding of climate variability can continue.

Finally, CECS Valdivia glaciologist Gino Casassa, scientific director of the conference, stated that “the glaciology community has to respond to the demands from world leaders to develop predictions that are more precise regarding the impacts of global warming, with a particular focus on identifying impacts at local and regional levels.” Mr. Casassa underscored the words of President Bachelet during the opening session that, “World policy requires predictions that are more conclusive and precise; we need to add intelligence to our adaptive capabilities and our mitigation programs.”

The conference was held in the city of Valdivia, Southern Chile, between January 1st and 4th 2010.  The initiative was supported and co-sponsored by the most important scientific organizations in glaciology: WCRP/IASC/SCAR Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC), International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) of IUGG, Latin American Working Group on Snow and Ice of UNESCO, International Galciology Society, Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the United States Embassy.

The list of topics considered:

•    Current cryospheric changes and its related impacts in the Southern hemisphere
•    Climate in southern hemisphere: variability and trends
•    Remote sensors and Geophysical techniques for chriosphere research
•    Process modeling and cryosperic data assimilation
•    Resemblances and contrasts with the Cryosphere and climate changes in the northern hemisphere
•    Detection and attribution of the cryospheric processes

The participants valued and expressed gratitude to the congress organisation in Valdivia, as well as for the contribution of the Imagen de Chile Foundation, main sponsor of the scientific series.