CALICE Calibrating Plant Biodiversity in Glacier Ice

Research | Chemical and stable isotope analyses of ice core

Chemical and stable isotope ratio analyses will be performed on the the ice core in order to infer information about climate and human impact, and air temperature, respectively.

Ion chromatography is used as a selective and sensistive technique for  chemical analysis. Data about the presence of major inorganic elements (sulphates, nitrates, chlorides; sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, ammonium) provide information about the anthropic impact on natural environment as well as on the general trend of atmospheric circulation patterns.

Stable isotope ratios of H and O are measured using Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry, interfaced with a CO2 equilibration system.Variations in the stable isotope ratios of H and O in the ice core reflect the temperature trend throughout the year. The annual cycle  is connected to local or regional temperature variations and it is an indicator of the seasonal temperature cycle.

Data will be correlated with estimated (by ice core analysis) and observed (by biodiversity assessments) plant diversity trends.