03 Dec 2018
This project examines vertical, sag-type caves that act as traps of cold winter air and snow. Preliminary studies suggest that these caves are uniquely suited to preserve a centennial-, if not millennial-scale record of winter precipitation. The aim of this project is to reach beyond the instrumental period and to obtain palaeoclimate data since the onset of the so-called Little Ice Age, a cool and varied period which lasted from approximately 1250 to 1850 AD. This research is timely given the rapid decrease in ice volume in most alpine ice caves in the last couple of decades, threatening the survival of this potentially unique archive in the Alps in a warming world.