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Scientists to Create a Library For Ice Before It All Melts Away

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

As the globe warms, we are apparently close to reaching that sweet spot between all the ice melting and the world ending. Scientists in France and Italy have started the Protecting Ice Memory project to preserve the valuable information stored in the slowly-disappearing mountain glaciers.


2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner and climatologist Jean Jouzel gave his support for the project, saying that “In the coming decades, or even centuries, this ice archive will be invaluable – be it for entirely unprecedented scientific discoveries or for understanding local changes in the environment.”

Carlo Barbante, an Italian scientist leading the project, says that his generation of scientists “has a particular responsibility to future generations” to preserve this ice.


Later this month a team of glaciologists will head to Col du Dôme, close to the border of Italy and France, to drill the first samples, “enormous, cylindrical samples called ice cores,” for the project. If you’re worried about the power going out in the library, do not fear! The scientists will be storing the ice “on the high plateaus of Antarctica,” which they call “the most reliable and natural freezer in the world.” And then I guess they’ll stay there until the Earth gets so hot everything melts. Cool.

[Mental Floss]

Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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It’s almost poetic, these seekers of the last winters,

those brave learned men, the ice hunters

who scour the embered world for the dying ice. They must be

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Yet Rage, rage against the dying of the light. —-Dylan Thomas

Do they know something the leaders of men fear to say?

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire — Robert Frost

Do they look out across verdant fields and see the morrow and say

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star. —- T. S Eliot

Across the Katabatic, across the endless stone and ice, they’ll ride
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

And with vault and ark secured, they’ll look ever north and know

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.