On the Trail of the Glaciers
Exploring the past for a sustainable future
The Project

On the Trail of the Glaciers is a photographic/scientific project that combines the work of photographers and scientists by linking comparative photography with scientific research. The overarching aim of the project is to understand the effects of climate change by gauging variations of glacial ice masses over time.

Over a period of ten years, six expeditions to the planet’s principal mountain glaciers have been measuring glacial ice mass and taking shots from the same spot where explorer-photographers had taken photographs in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

The power of comparative photography to get a message across, backed with scientific research data, will contribute to bringing about greater awareness of the impact of human activities on the climate. The dissemination of data gathered in this way will serve to increase public awareness of the need to protect natural resources for future generations.


Download here the project brochure.

  • Scientific Purpose

    Climate and environmental changes have given rise to the rapid disintegration of huge glacial masses with environmental consequences which are still not completely understood.

    Combining documentary and scientific approaches, the project aims to gather unique data on the recent dynamics of glacier movements and on the state of health of test case glaciers in Karakorum, the Caucasus, Alaska, the Andes, the Himalayas and the Alps.

  • Communication Purpose

    Through an original fusion of innovative scientific research and comparative photography techniques the project aims to contribute to the general public’s understanding of issues such as:

    • The importance of sustainable development
      and the conservation of the world’s natural resources, in particular water resources;
    • The importance of biodiversity;
    • The role of scientific research in raising awareness and understanding of environmental issues;
    • The restoration and safeguarding of photographic archives, recognizing their value as historical and cultural heritage.
  • Result in Figures

    5 expeditions completed
    108 comparison photographs taken
    7 research programs carried out
    9 universities and research institutions engaged
    35 glaciers analyzed
    3 television documentaries broadcast internationally
    13 cities hosting the travelling photographic exhibition
    2 interactive video installations
    133 conferences, conventions and public screenings
    556 articles on the Web
    115 articles published in print media
    49 radio and television broadcasts
    162 events in the world
    196.000.000 people reached in the world

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