On the trails of the glaciers

Published on Thursday, 1 September 2016

“On the trail of the glaciers” in the Chilean Patagonia © Fabiano Ventura

The expedition travelled on foot or by horse, in canoes and on mountain bikes to reach the most remote areas, which were originally documented in the first half of the 20th century on the historical exploration mission of Alberto Maria De Agostini, a Salesian priest, photographer and movie-maker.

Watching climate change

Following in the footsteps of De Agostini, the team of photographers and scientists reached the exact same positions from where the group of explorers had worked between 1910 and the mid 1950s, taking new pictures in order to compare the images and track the changes over the course of sixty years.

“Repeat photography allows to compare historical and contemporary images taken from the same point: the result is a perfect overlap with an incredible communicative effect.”

The photos of the glaciers taken today, compared with those made by De Agostini, immediately and vividly highlight the ongoing effects of climate change.

The archive of the world

"Andes 2016" is the fourth exploration from the "On the trail of the glaciers" expedition, and since the very first mission we have participated in the work of Fabiano Ventura and his teams that assisted him over the last seven years, exploring and narrating the Karakorum at the border between Kashmir and China (2009), the Caucasus in Georgia (2011) and also Alaska (2013).

“A valuable heritage to study glaciers and the effects of climate change on the great water reserves of the world.”

Researchers, engineers and geologists from the "On the trail of the glaciers" team have collected field data, satellite and drone images, paving the way for in-depth studies and research on climate change evolution.

The resulting archive from the three previous expeditions, further enriched with images from this new mission, is set to become the most important documentation of the Earth's glaciers using the technique of repeat photography.