latest glacier mass balance data

1 Summary of the balance years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16

Mass balance values for the observation period 2014/15 have been reported from more than 130 glaciers worldwide. The mass balance statistics (Table 1) are calculated based on all reported values and on available data from the 40 reference glaciers with continued observation series of more than 30 years (Table 2). In addition, preliminary mass balance values are given for 2015/16 for some glaciers.

The average mass balance of the glaciers with available long-term observation series around the world continues to be negative, with tentative figures indicating a further thickness reduction of 1.1 meters water equivalent (m w.e.) during the hydrological year 2015. The new data continues the global trend in strong ice loss over the past few decades and brings the cumulative average thickness loss of the reference glaciers since 1980 at almost 20 m w.e. (see Figures 1 and 2). All so far reported mass balance values, given in Table 3, are tentative.

Table 1: Overview on mass balance data 2013/14, 2014/15 and preliminary values for 2015/16. Statistics are given for all reported glaciers (ALL) and for the available ‘reference’ glaciers with continuous long-term observation series (REF).

Mean annual mass balance (mm w.e.)-586-742-1116-1173-858
Minimum value (mm w.e.)-4493-1910-5599-3480-2284
Maximum value (mm w.e.)+1369+459+1950+1399+561
Standard deviation (mm w.e.)80664412881259589
Number of positive/reported balances33/1505/3424/1397/351/25

Table 2: Reference glaciers with continuous long-term observation series.

Mountain rangeGlaciers
AlaskaGulkana, Wolverine
Pacific Coast RangesPlace, South Cascade, Helm, Lemon Creek, Peyto, Columbia (2057)
AndesEchaurren Norte
Canadian High ArcticDevon Ice Cap NW, Meighen Ice Cap, White, Melville South Ice Cap
SvalbardAustre Broeggerbreen, Midtre Lovénbreen
ScandinaviaEngabreen, Alfotbreen, Nigardsbreen, Grasubreen, Storbreen, Hellstugubreen, Remebesdalsskaaka (Hardangerjoekulen), Storglaciaeren
AlpsSaint Sorlin, Sarennes, Argentière, Silvretta, Gries, Stubacher Sonnblickkees, Vernagtferner, Kesselwandferner, Hintereisferner, Caresèr, Wurtenkees
AltaiNo. 125 (Vodopadniy), Maliy Aktru, Leviy Aktru
Tien ShanTs. Tuyuksuyskiy, Urumqi Glacier No.1

The corresponding annual and cumulative mass balance results of this data set from glaciers in the Americas and Eurasia are visualized in the following two figures:

Figure 1: Mean annual mass balance of reference glaciers. pdf

Mean annual mass balance of reference glaciers


Figure 2: Mean cumulative mass balance of all reported glaciers (blue line) and the reference glaciers (red line). pdf

Mean cumulative mass balance of all reported glaciers (blue line) and the reference glaciers (red line)

For more detailed analysis of the global mass balance dataset, see the following selected publications and references therein:

  • Braithwaite, R.J. 2002. Glacier mass balance: the first 50 years of international monitoring. Progr. Phys. Geogr., 26 (1), 76-95.
  • Cogley, J.G. and W.P. Adams. 1998. Mass balance of glaciers other than the ice sheets. J. Glaciol., 44 (147), 315-325.
  • Dyurgerov, M.B. 2002. Glacier mass balance and regime: data of measurements and analysis. Boulder, CO, University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. INSTAAR Occasional Paper 55.
  • Dyurgerov, M.B. and M.F. Meier. 2005. Glaciers and the changing Earth system: a 2004 snapshot. Boulder, CO, University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. INSTAAR Occasional Paper 58.
  • Kaser, G., Cogley, J.G., Dyurgerov, M.B., Meier, M.F. and A. Ohmura. 2006. Mass balance of glaciers and ice caps: consensus estimates for 1961-2004. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33 (19), L19501.
  • Meier, M.F., Dyurgerov, M.B., Rick, U.K., O’Neel, S., Pfeffer, W.T., Anderson, R.S., Anderson, S.P. and A.F. Glazovsky. 2007. Glaciers dominate eustatic sea-level rise in the 21st century. Science, 317 (5841): 1064-1067.
  • Ohmura, A. 2006. Changes in mountain glaciers and ice caps during the 20th century. Ann. Glaciol., 43, 361-368.
  • WGMS. 2008. Global Glacier Changes: facts and figures. Zemp, M., Roer, I., Kääb, A., Hoelzle, M., Paul, F. and W. Haeberli (eds.), UNEP, World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zurich, Switzerland: 88 pp.
  • WGMS. 2013. Glacier Mass Balance Bulletin No. 12 (2010-2011). Zemp, M., Nussbaumer, S.U., Naegeli, K., Gärtner-Roer, I., Paul, F., Hoelzle, M., and Haeberli, W. (eds.), ICSU (WDS) / IUGG (IACS) / UNEP / UNESCO / WMO, World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zurich, Switzerland: 106 pp., publication based on database version: doi: 10.5904/wgms-fog-2013-11.
  • WGMS. 2012. Fluctuations of Glaciers 2005-2010 (Vol. X): Zemp, M., Frey, H., Gärtner-Roer, I., Nussbaumer, S.U., Hoelzle, M., Paul, F. & W. Haeberli (eds.), ICSU (WDS)/ IUGG (IACS)/ UNEP/ UNESCO/ WMO, World Glacier Monitorings Service, Zurich, Switzerland. Based on database version doi: 10.5904/wgms-fog-2012-11.
  • Zemp, M., Hoelzle, M. and W. Haeberli. 2009. Six decades of glacier mass balance observations – a review of the worldwide monitoring network. Annals of Glaciology, 50A018.
  • Zemp, M., Frey, H., Gärtner-Roer, I., Nussbaumer, S.U., Hoelzle, M., Paul, F., Haeberli, W., Denzinger, F., Ahlstroem, A.P., Anderson, B., Bajracharya, S., Baroni, C., Braun, L.N., Caceres, B.E., Casassa, G., Cobos, G., Davila, L.R., Delgado Granados, H., Demuth, M.N., Espizua, L., Fischer, A., Fujita, K., Gadek, B., Ghazanfar, A., Hagen J.O., Holmlund, P., Karimi, N., Li, Z., Pelto, M., Pitte, P., Popovnin, V.V., Portocarrero, C.A., Prinz, R., Sangewar, C.V., Severskiy, I., Sigurdsson, O., Soruco, A., Usubaliev, R., and Vincent, C. (2015): Historically unprecedented global glacier decline in the early 21st century. Journal of Glaciology, 61 (228), p. 745-762. doi: 10.3189/2015JoG15J017

2 Mass balance data

Table 3: Reported mass balance values of the observation period 2013/14, 2014/15, as well as *preliminary values for 2015/16. Principal investigators are listed for submitted data of 2014/15.

NameMB14MB15*MB16investigator/sponsoring agency
[mm w.e.][mm w.e.][mm w.e.]
Bahia del Diablo+190+25S. Marinsek, J.L. Seco, E. Ermolin (Instituto Antártico Argentino)
Brown Superior-1359-2387G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
Conconta Norte-1783-2890G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
Los Amarillos-950-1097G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
Martial Este+566-157R. Iturraspe and colleagues (Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego)
Goldbergkees+519B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Halstaetter Gletscher-274-1130A. Fischer and colleagues (Energie AG)
Hintereisferner-122-1682-1000R. Prinz, S. Galos and colleagues (IMGI/ACINN)
Jamtalferner-572-2016A. Fischer and colleagues (HD/LT)
Kesselwandferner+459-1169-700S. Galos, I. Juen and colleagues (IMGI/ACINN)
Kleinfleisskees0B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Pasterze-509-1434B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Obersulzbachkees-152-1567A. Fischer and colleagues (HD/LS)
Stubacher Sonnblickkees+274-2734-828H. Wiesenegger, H. Slupetzky and colleagues (HD/LS)
Venediger Kees
Vernagtferner-144-1268-900L. Braun and colleagues (CGG/BAS)
Wurtenkees-380-1275S. Reisenhofer and colleagues (ZAMG)
Zettalunitz/Mullwitz+117-1599A. Fischer and colleagues (HD/LS)
Charquini Sur-2709A. Soruco and colleagues (IGEMA)
Zongo-4493A. Soruco and colleagues (IGEMA)
Devon Ice Cap NW-246-395-301D.O. Burgess and colleagues (NRCan)
Helm-2500M. Demuth, M. Ednie and colleagues (NRCan)
Meighen Ice Cap+57-892D.O. Burgess and colleagues (NRCan)
Melville South Ice Cap-159-1148D.O. Burgess and colleagues (NRCan)
Peyto-1630-2550M. Demuth, M. Ednie and colleagues (NRCan)
Place-1590-1520M. Demuth, M. Ednie and colleagues (NRCan)
White-417-693L. Thomson and colleagues (Uottawa/DG, TU/G)
Amarillo-1319-1393G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
Guanaco-880-1130A. Rivera and colleagues (CECs)
Echaurren Norte-940-1720-2284G. Barcaza and colleagues (DGA)
Urumqi Glacier No.1-185-815-1017H. Li and colleagues (CAREERI/CAS)
- East Branch-228-932H. Li and colleagues (CAREERI/CAS)
- West Branch-109-607H. Li and colleagues (CAREERI/CAS)
Parlung (Glacier No. 94)-1116-653S. Li, W. Yang, and colleagues (ITPR/CAS)
Conejeras-4084-5599Jorge Luis Ceballos and colleagues (IDEAM)
Ritacuba Blanco-119-887Jorge Luis Ceballos and colleagues (IDEAM)
Antizana 15 Alpha-265-305B. Caceres and colleagues (INAMHI)
Argentìere-720-2480C. Vincent and D. Six (CNRS)
Gebroulaz-270-2080C. Vincent and D. Six (CNRS)
Ossoue-310-2280P. René and colleagues (Association Moraine)
Saint Sorlin-1340-2980C. Vincent and D. Six (CNRS)
Sarennes-1910-3420-1510E. Thibert and colleagues (IRSTEA)
Tre la tete-303L. Moreau and colleagues (CNRS EDYTEM)
Freya394B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Mittivakkat-1200+200-1770S. Mernild, N.T. Knudsen and colleagues (NTK)
Qasigiannguit-324+217J. Abermann and colleagues (GEM/ASIAQ)
Bruarjökull-34+1044F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Dyngjujökull171+1469F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Eyabakkajökull-353+734F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Hofsjökull E-990+850Th. Thorsteinsson and colleagues (VEDUR)
Hofsjökull N-950+430Th. Thorsteinsson and colleagues (VEDUR)
Hofsjökull SW-990+1380Th. Thorsteinsson and colleagues (VEDUR)
Köldukvislarjökull-877+1074F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Langjökull Ice Cap-1950+413F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Tungnarjökull-1535+196F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Chhota Shigri-80A.L. Ramanathan and colleagues (JNU)
Calderone+626suspendedMassimo Pecci and colleagues (CGI)
Campo Settentrionale+37-1799R. Scotti and colleagues (SGL)
Careser-131-2475-1748L. Carturan and colleagues (TeSAF/UNIPD)
Ciardoney-560-1831L. Mercalli and colleagues (SMI)
Fontana Bianca/Weissbrunnferner+467-1291-1312Roberto Dinale, Andrea Di Lullo (Hydrographisches Amt Bozen)
Grand Etret-569-1791V. Bertoglio and colleagues (Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso)
La Mare (southern branch)+830-1315L. Carturan (TeSAF/UNIPD)
Lunga/Langenferner+442-1727S. Galos and colleagues (IMGI & UI/HA)
Lupo+1369-1561R. Scotti and colleagues (SGL)
Malavalle/Übeltalferner+34-1213-879G. Franchi, G. Rossi and colleagues (UI/HA)
Pendente/Hangender Ferner-11-1500-1258G. Franchi, G. Rossi and colleagues (UI/HA)
Suretta Meridionale+378-909R. Scotti and colleagues (SGL)
Timorion-155-1470U. Morra di Cella and colleagues (ARPA)
Vedretta Occ. di Ries/Westlicher Rieserferner+146-1622-793Roberto Dinale, Andrea Di Lullo (Hydrographisches Amt Bozen)
Hamaguri Yuki
Ts. Tuyuksuyskiy-1088-756+561N.E. Kassatkin, K.G. Makarevich (Inst. of Geogr. of Ministry of Educ. & Sc. of KZ)
Lewis-933R. Prinz and colleagues (IMGI)
Abramov-665-33M. Barandun and colleagues (DGUF & CAIAG)
Batysh Sook/ Syek Zapadnyi-435-499R. Kenzhebaev (CAIAG), Barandun (DGUF) and colleagues
Bordu-450V. Popovnin (MGU), R. Satylkanov and B. Ermenbayev (TShMRC)
Glacier No. 354 (Akshiirak)-675-635M. Barandun, M. Kronenberg and colleagues (DGUF&CAIAG)
Glacier No. 599-62E. Azisov, R. Usubaliev (CAIAG)
Golubin-1999-671E. Azizov, M. Barandun and colleagues (CAIAG, DGUF, GFZ)
Karabatkak-950-880-390V. Popovnin (MGU), R. Satylkanov and colleagues (TShMRC)
Sary-Tor-820-790V. Popovnin (MGU), R. Satylkanov and colleagues (TShMRC)
Changri Nup-1330-1280P. Wagnon and colleagues (IRD)
Mera-200-20P. Wagnon and colleagues (IRD)
Pokalde-1230-700P. Wagnon and colleagues (IRD)
Rikha Samba
Yala-983D. Stumm and colleagues (ICIMOD)
New Zealand
Brewster+470+215B. Anderson and colleagues (ARC & DGUO)
Rolleston-38+657T. Kerr, H. Purdie and colleagues (NIWA)
Aalfotbreen-1653+1399-640B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Austdalsbreeen-1400H. Elvehøy and colleagues (NVE)
Blomstolskardsbreen-80+1950B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Engabreen-971+624-260H. Elvehøy and colleagues (NVE)
Graasubreen-1168+294-510L. M. Andreassen and colleagues (NVE)
Hansebreen-2113+1007B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Hellstugubreen-1220+487-340L. M. Andreassen and colleagues (NVE)
Langfjordjoekelen-780-797B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Nigardsbreen-343+1715+490B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Remebesdalsskaaka-1294+1183-390H. Elvehøy and colleagues (NVE)
Rundvassbreen-790-20B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Storbreen-1167+486-1020L. M. Andreassen and colleagues (NVE)
Svelgjabreen-457+1835B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Artesonraju-341-372Alejo Cochachin Rapre and colleagues (Autoridad Nacional del Agua, Unidad de Glaciología y Recursos Hídricos)
Yanamarey-1407-563Alejo Cochachin Rapre and colleagues (Autoridad Nacional del Agua, Unidad de Glaciología y Recursos Hídricos)
Djankuat-1370-1010-730V. Popovnin and colleagues (MSU)
Garabashi-920O.V. Rototayeva and colleagues (IGRAS)
Leviy Aktru
Maliy Aktru
No. 125 (Vodopadniy)
Maladeta+78-1760-843Guillermo Cobos Campos and colleagues (UPV)
Austre Broeggerbreen+10-610J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR)
Austre Lovenbreen+10E. Bernard and colleagues (CNRS - Univ. Franche Comté)
Hansbreen-277-436Piotr Glowacki,Michal Petlicki and colleagues (Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Irenebreen-687-1335Ireneusz Sobota and colleagues (Nicolaus Copernicus Polar Station)
Kongsvegen+140-160J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR)
Kronebreen/Holtedahlfonna+80-60J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR) (balances excl. calving)
Midtre Lovenbreen+30-450J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR)
Waldemarbreen-576-1439Ireneusz Sobota and colleagues (Nicolaus Copernicus Polar Station)
Werenskiold+366-705D. Ignatiuk (University of Silesia)
Rabots Glaciaer
Storglaciaeren-890P. Jansson and colleagues (Tarfala Research Station)
Adler+230-378Huss, Salzmann, Leysinger-Vieli and colleagues (DGUF, GIUZ)
Allalin+77-656A. Bauder, M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Basodino-250G. Kappenberger and colleagues
Clariden-501-1362U. Steinegger, G. Kappenberger and colleagues
Corbassiere-221-1449A. Bauder, M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Corvatsch-S+120-1643M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Findelen+159-606Huss, Salzmann, Leysinger-Vieli and colleagues (DGUF, GIUZ)
Gietro-198-1271A. Bauder, M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Gries-610-1800-1200M. Funk and colleagues (VAW)
Hohlaub-53-1010A. Bauder, M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Murtel+427-902M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Pizol-1223-1501M. Huss and colleagues (DGUF, VAW)
Plaine Morte-958-2395M. Huss and colleagues (DGUF, VAW)
Rhone-383-1083A. Bauder and colleagues (VAW)
Sankt Anna-438-1477M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Schwarzbach-541-1258M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Schwarzberg-9-1331A. Bauder, M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Sex Rouge-613-2213M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Silvretta-950-1649-600A. Bauder and colleagues (VAW)
Tsanfleuron-642-2744M. Huss and colleagues (DGUF)
Blue-1410-2300M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Columbia (2057)-500-3480M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Daniels-550-3080M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Easton-1300-2780M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Eel-70-3740M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Emmons-1330-1260M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Gulkana-300-1500-1400S. O'Neel, L. Sass and colleagues (USGS)
Ice Worm-320-3250-780M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Lemon Creek-1825-2270-1200M. Pelto and colleagues (JIRP)
Lower Curtis-1350-3400-1550M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Lynch-850-2850-1420M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Nisqually-650-840M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Noisy Creek-180-3550M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
North Klawatti-210-2300M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Rainbow-1940-3450-880M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Sandalee-220-2000M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Sholes-1530-3050-1520M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Silver-270-1060M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
South CascadeE. Whorton and colleagues (USGS)
Sperry+60-1220D. Fagre, A. Clark and colleagues (USGS)
Taku-600-860-780M. Pelto and colleagues (JIRP)
Wolverine-1500-700-400S. O'Neel, L. Sass and colleagues (USGS)
Yawning-1650-3360-960M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
last change 25/01/2017