Monte Rosa - Colle Gnifetti / Italy

June 2021

2 ice cores
80 m lenght
10 000 years of planet history


The international team included Margit Schwikowski (PSI ), Theo Jenk (team leader, PSI), François Burgay (PSI), Jacopo Gabrieli (Cnr/Ca’ Foscari), Fabrizio de Blasi (CNR/Ca’ Foscari), Andrea Spolaor (CNR/Ca’ Foscari), Paolo Conz (mountain guide), Sabine Harbeke (ZHdK, PolARTS project), Riccardo Selvatico (videomaker).


The Gorner glacier is the second largest glacier in the Alps. With an area of about 40km2, the glacier extends from 2,190m to 4,600m above sea level. In 2017, it was estimated that the volume of the glacier amounted to 4.9km3. Since the mid-1800s, the glacier has lost about 40% of its area, with its front retreating by about 3.3km.


“The mission was a success: the team obtained two ice cores over 80m deep from a very important site, which contains information on the climate of the last ten thousand years,” says Carlo Barbante, director of the CNR-ISP and professor at Ca’ Foscari. “The team worked well despite the harsh weather conditions, with strong gusts of wind and snow. Now this precious archive of the climate history of the Alps will be preserved for the future.”

Updated on  October 30, 2023