The future of glaciers (IMAGINARY exhibit)

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The future of glaciers
Future of glaciers1.png
On display at IMAGINARY exhibitions
Type Film with interactive ending
Topics Modelisation, climate, Planet Earth

The future of glaciers is a film by Guillaume Jouvet et al, that shows the task of mathematical modelisation of a glacier in the Swiss alps, and predictions for its future in different scenarios.


The Future of Glaciers is a short film, but it is framed inside a web user interface to enhance the user experience. On this setting, "The future of glaciers - The module" consist on a user interface to watch the film, five interactive endings, a page with the mathematical description, and a complete second film, "Glacial mistery", that enriches the story with a real application of the model.


The exhibit is self-explanatory, it does not need any mediator. The duration of "The future of glaciers" (the first film) is 5:00 min, and the duration of "Glacial mistery" is 5:48 min. If a mediator is present, he can comment on what are differential equations, what do they mean geometrically, and why do they serve to model the flow of the snow, insisting on the explanations of the film. It is also important to stress the use of mathematics to model the reality, and the need of collaboration with other scientists.


A deep understanding would require knowledge of fluid mechanics and numerical methods, but this is far beyond the vulgarisation purpose of the exhibit.

History and museology

The original film was produced in 2012 for the competition of museum exhibits "Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013", on which this film won the third prize. Later it was added the web user interface to replicate the alternative endings (originally working on YouTube). In 2014 the author filmed "Glacial mistery", which was added to the same exhibit.

The exhibit is an integral part of the exhibition "Mathematics of Planet Earth", curated by IMAGINARY.