Profile: Paolo Gabrielli

Climate Researcher

Dr. Gabrielli's primary interest is in the study of ice cores with emphasis on paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic reconstructions. In particular, he has developed an interest in trace elements analysis in polar ice cores, with special focus on cosmic input of extraterrestrial material, trace elements geochemical cycles and their relation to past environmental changes such as variations in climatic conditions and large-scale atmospheric transport.
Recently, Dr. Gabrielli has developed a new lab at The Ohio State University for the determination of very low trace element concentrations in glacier ice by ICP-SFMS. Now he uses trace elements to reconstruct the sources of dust and pollutants deposited on the ice fields at mid- and tropical latitudes. Presently he is focusing on ice core archives from the highest elevations in the world such us those in Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), the Himalayas and Quelccaya (Peru).
Since 2009, Dr. Gabrielli leads a large international program to study climatic and environmental changes on Mt. Ortles (South Tyrol, Italy): four cores have been drilled on Mt. Ortles during fall 2011 and an extensive educational outreach program has been established. Dr. Gabrielli has also participated in field programs in Antarctica (EPICA Dome C and Talos Dome), in the Alps (Colle Gnifetti), in Peru (Quelccaya and Hualcan) and Papua (Irian Jaya).

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Mining Conquistadors & Air Pollution

When the Spanish conquered South America in the 16th century they took over the Incas' mines and soon began to pump clouds of lead dust over the Andes. The silver the conquistadors sent back home made them wealthy. It also made them the world’s first industrial-scale toxic metal air polluters – perhaps causing us to rethink the timing of the moment when humans truly began to change the environment.

Category: Science

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