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The Glacier Archive

A project of the Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung e.V. (Society for Ecological Research)


This is an archive of photographically documented comparisons of Alpine glaciers. We started by building a base containing several thousand old photos of the Alps. In summer, we photograph and compare each of the glaciers from the original photo point.

The Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung e.V. set up a separate unit – The Glacier Archive – so that it could concentrate on the extensive effort required for the research and photo comparisons.

Our glacier project kicked-off in 1999. The year 2002 was when we first presented the findings of our photo comparisons to a bigger public audience. In the meantime, our glacier archive and the Gletscher im Treibhaus (Glaciers in a Greenhouse) exhibit evoked considerable interest both here and abroad.

Why is a glacier archive so critical?

Retreating glaciers are the clearest sign of climate change. We are witnessing the most rapid disappearance of glaciers, since millennia. But we can still see real glaciers – our descendants will most likely not be so lucky.

The photo comparisons emphasize the urgent nature of melting glaciers. Our comprehensive documentation is of great significance, since it highlights something that is disappearing ever faster.

The Alps

The Alps have been a part of our life for a long time at the Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung e.V. In 1998 we opened our photographic exhibition “Schöne neue Alpen” (Beautiful New Alps) and published a book 1) of the same title. The illustration section is now online. 2)

1) Sylvia Hamberger, Oswald Baumeister, Rudi Erlacher, Wolfgang Zängl
Schöne neue Alpen - Eine Ortsbesichtigung
Raben Verlag, München 1998 (ISBN 3-922696-74-0)