latest glacier mass balance data

1 Summary of the balance years 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19 (preliminary)

Mass balance values for the observation periods will be 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 2018/19 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 1.0 meters water equivalent (m w.e.) during the hydrological year 2016/17. 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. The current status of glaciers worldwide is summarized here. All so far reported mass balance values, given in Table 3, are tentative.

Table 1: Overview on mass balance data 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and preliminary values for 2018/19. Statistics are given for all reported glaciers (ALL) and for the available ‘reference’ glaciers with continuous long-term observation series (REF).

  2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Mean annual mass balance (mm w.e.)-773-832-818-898-1009-1248-1243
Minimum value (mm w.e.)-5545-2284-5010-3001-3592-3592-3400
Maximum value (mm w.e.)+3824+561+4725+1249+1308+440-120
Standard deviation (mm w.e.)8446221071986848849862
Number of positive/reported balances16/1672/3829/1648/3818/1514/370/28

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

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 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 as well as *preliminary values for 2018/19. Principal investigators are listed for submitted data of 2017/18.

NameMB16MB17MB18*MB19investigator/sponsoring agency
[mm w.e.][mm w.e.][mm w.e.]
Bahia del Diablo-561-380-130S. Marinsek, J.L. Seco, E. Ermolin (Instituto Antártico Argentino)
Hurd+290-420-560+190F. Navarro and colleagues (UPM/ETSIT)
Johnsons+530-30-80+550F. Navarro and colleagues (UPM/ETSIT)
Agua Negra-284+298-928P. Pitte and colleagues (IANIGLA-CONICET)
Brown Superior+167+798-1511-956G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
Conconta Norte+429+4725-2458-1162G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
De Los Tres-673-1767-914P. Pitte and colleagues (IANIGLA-CONICET)
Los Amarillos+2222+1431+248-1485G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
Martial Este+55-706-225R. Iturraspe and colleagues (Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego)
Goldbergkees-860-1806-1697-700B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Halstaetter Gletscher-1130-1194-1853A. Fischer and colleagues (Energie AG)
Hintereisferner-1263-1826-1963-680R. Prinz and colleagues (ACINN)
Jamtalferner-800-1825-2276-1237A. Fischer and colleagues (HD/LT)
Kesselwandferner-500-1054-1619-337R. Prinz and colleagues (ACINN)
Kleinfleisskees-432-1791-1377-700B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Obersulzbachkees-467-655-1045A. Fischer and colleagues (HD/LT)
Pasterze-1163-1593-1420-1100B. Hynek, A. Neureiter and colleagues (ZAMG)
Stubacher Sonnblickkees-828-1850H Wiesenegger, H. Slupetzky and colleagues (HD/SB)(HD/LS)
Vernagtferner-781-1335-1419-880Braun L., Mayer C. and colleagues (CGGBAS)
Wurtenkees-1250-1706S. Reisenhofer and colleagues (ZAMG)
Zettalunitz/Mullwitz-858-1340-1239A. Fischer and colleagues (HD/LS)
Charquini Sur-2484-1113-25A. Soruco and colleagues (IGEMA)
Zongo-1024-337+284A. Soruco and colleagues (IGEMA)
Devon Ice Cap NW-483-153+46D.O. Burgess and colleagues (GSC)
Helm-1280-907-1410M. Ednie (NRCan)
Meighen Ice Cap-791+126+199D.O. Burgess and colleagues (GSC)
Melville South Ice Cap-792+38+221D.O. Burgess and colleagues (GSC)
Peyto-1844-1605-1020M. Ednie (NRCan)
Place-1330-819-1560M. Ednie (NRCan)
White-268+116L. Thomson and colleagues (Uottawa/DG, TU/G)
Amarillo+3824+1403+893-2632G. Cabrera and colleagues (IANIGLA)
GuanacoA. Rivera and colleagues (CECs)
Echaurren Norte-2284-353-3592-2246F. Buglio, J. Huenante, G. Casassa (DGA)
Mocho-1319-2469-272+28M. Schaefer and colleagues (UACH)
Urumqi Glacier No.1-780-682-711-272H. Li and colleagues (CAREERI/CAS)
- East Branch-939-773-817-350H. Li and colleagues (CAREERI/CAS)
- West Branch-498-520-521-133H. Li and colleagues (CAREERI/CAS)
Parlung (Glacier No. 94)-1086-959-1469S. Li, W. Yang, and colleagues (ITPR/CAS)
Conejeras-5545-4265-3411Jorge Luis Ceballos and colleagues (IDEAM)
Ritacuba Blanco-514+339+656Jorge Luis Ceballos and colleagues (IDEAM)
Antizana 15 Alpha-257-379-258B. Caceres and colleagues (INAMHI)
Argentìere-680-1500-1540D. Six and C. Vincent (CNRS)
Gebroulaz-410-1180-1240D. Six and C. Vincent (CNRS)
Ossoue-1370-5010-910P. René and colleagues (Association Moraine)
Saint Sorlin-1140-2640-2020D. Six and C. Vincent (CNRS)
Sarennes-1510-3001-1960-3140E. Thibert and colleagues (IRSTEA)
Tre la tete-820L. Moreau and colleagues (CNRS EDYTEM)
Freya-540-24+1308B. Hynek and colleagues (ZAMG)
Mittivakkat-1766-1150-360N.T. Knudsen, S. Mernild, S. de Villiers and colleagues (NTK)
Qasigiannguit-1565-52-332K. Langley, J. Abermann, and colleagues (GEM/ASIAQ)
Bruarjökull-342+26+62F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Dyngjujökull-236+230+76F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Eyabakkajökull-930-452-390F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Hofsjökull E-1330-650+340Th. Thorsteinsson and colleagues (VEDUR)
Hofsjökull N-1130-610+240Th. Thorsteinsson and colleagues (VEDUR)
Hofsjökull SW-440+340+850Th. Thorsteinsson and colleagues (VEDUR)
Köldukvislarjökull-642-41+323F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Langjökull Ice Cap-1677-959-39F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Tungnarjökull-1415-449-320F. Pálsson (University of Iceland), A. Gunnarsson (National Power Company of Iceland) and colleagues
Bara Shigri-560-820P. Shsrma and colleagues (NCPOR)
Batal-420-540P. Shsrma and colleagues (NCPOR)
Chhota Shigri-840-280-400A.L. Ramanathan and colleagues (JNU)
Chorabari-720D.P. Dobhal and M. Mehta
Dokriani -260D.P. Dobhal, M. Mehta and B. Pratap
Gepang Gath-1050-1510 P. Shsrma (NCPOR)
Patsio-680-450 A.L. Ramanathan and colleagues (JNU)
Pensilungpa-230-560M. Mehta and colleagues (WIHG)
Samudra Tapu-1120-1560 P. Shsrma (NCPOR)
Sutri Dhaka-870-1340 P. Shsrma (NCPOR)
Calderone-1041-594Massimo Pecci and colleagues (CGI)
Campo Settentrionale-840-1856-1325R. Scotti and colleagues (SGL)
Careser-1748-2747-1981-1432L. Carturan and colleagues (TeSAF/UNIPD)
Ciardoney-1800-1390-1449L. Mercalli, D. de Cat Berro and colleagues (SMI)
Fontana Bianca/Weissbrunnferner-1312-1880R. Dinale, A. Di Lullo and colleagues (Hydrographisches Amt Bozen)
Grand EtretV. Bertoglio and colleagues (Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso)
La Mare (southern branch)-654-1904-1185-1052L. Carturan (TeSAF/UNIPD)
Lunga/Langenferner-1010-2066S. Galos and colleagues (IMGI & UI/HA)
Lupo-973-1347-1751R. Scotti and colleagues (SGL)
Malavalle/Übeltalferner-871-1207-1789G. Franchi, G. Rossi and colleagues (UI/HA)
Pendente/Hangender Ferner-1195-1589-2229G. Franchi, G. Rossi and colleagues (UI/HA)
Suretta Meridionale-1336-2283-2441R. Scotti and colleagues (SGL)
TimorionU. Morra di Cella and colleagues (ARPA)
Vedretta Occ. di Ries/Westlicher Rieserferner-793-1239-1365R. Dinale, A. Di Lullo and colleagues (Hydrographisches Amt Bozen)
Hamaguri Yuki-3274+2901-1790K. Fujita and K. Fukui (GSES-NU, TCSM)
Ts. Tuyuksuyskiy+561-1113-216-580N.E. Kassatkin and colleagues (Inst. of Geogr. of Ministry of Educ. & Sc. of KZ)
LewisR. Prinz and colleagues (IMGI)
Abramov+380-354+56M. Barandun and colleagues (DGUF & CAIAG)
Batysh Sook/ Syek Zapadnyi-425-872-743R. Kenzhebaev and colleagues (CAIAG & DGUF)
Bordu-450-1480-870-960Victor Popovnin (MGU), Rysbek Satylkanov and Bakyt Ermenbayev (TShMRC)
Glacier No. 354 (Akshiirak)-399-636-491M. Barandun and colleagues (DGUF & CAIAG)
Glacier No. 599-725-197E. Azisov, R. Usubaliev (CAIAG)
Golubin+287-144-50E. Azizov and colleagues (CAIAG & DGUF)
Karabatkak-390-1120-810-540V. Popovnin (MGU), R. Satylkanov and colleagues (TShMRC)
Sary-Tor-790-1340-540-850V. Popovnin (MGU), R. Satylkanov and colleagues (TShMRC)
Changri Nup-750-2560-2100P. Wagnon and colleagues (IRD)
Mera-200-560-730P. Wagnon and colleagues (IRD)
Pokalde-460-890-1290P. Wagnon and colleagues (IRD)
Rikha Samba-334-230-345T. Gurung, S. Joshi, and colleagues (ICIMOD)
Yala-609-1183-1184S. Joshi, T. Gurung, D. Stumm, and colleagues (ICIMOD)
New Zealand
Brewster-1193+553-2217B. Anderson and colleagues (ARC & DGUO)
Rolleston-1006+275-2456T. Kerr, H. Purdie and colleagues (Rainfall.NZ Ltd & UCant)
Aalfotbreen-635-750-2036-2400B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Austdalsbreeen-1050+191-1531H. Elvehøy and colleagues (NVE)
Blomstolskardsbreen+701-350B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Engabreen-226+1249-1629-800H. Elvehøy and colleagues (NVE))
Graasubreen-415-708-1819-1700L. M. Andreassen and colleagues (NVE)
Hansebreen-1304-1179-2651B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Hellstugubreen-339-591-1630-1880L. M. Andreassen and colleagues (NVE)
Langfjordjoekelen-1664-267-2129B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Moesevassbreen+135B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Nigardsbreen+486+587-852-300B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Remebesdalsskaaka-386+638-1274-800H. Elvehøy and colleagues (NVE)
Rundvassbreen-490+437B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Storbreen-804-517-1969-1700L. M. Andreassen and colleagues (NVE)
Svelgjabreen-7-159B. Kjøllmoen and colleagues (NVE)
Artesonraju-1598-736-792A. Cochachin and colleagues (ANA)
Yanamarey-2505-1032-360A. Cochachin and colleagues (ANA)
Djankuat-730-740+440-120V. Popovnin and colleagues (MSU)
Garabashi-980-930-888-834O.V. Rototayeva and colleagues (IGRAS)
Leviy Aktru-425S. Kutuzov and colleagues (IGRAS, TSU)
Maliy Aktru
No. 125 (Vodopadniy)
Maladeta-843-1672+257G. Cobos Campos and colleagues (UPV)
Austre Broeggerbreen-1450-790-880-560J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR)
Austre Gronfjordbreen-2398-1512-1407-1514N. Elagina, R. Chernov, and colleagues (IGRAS)
Austre Lovenbreen-1114-399-810E. Bernard and colleagues (CNRS - Univ. Franche Comté)
Hansbreen-1078-697-631B. Luks and colleagues (Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Irenebreen-1468-1420-1498Ireneusz Sobota and colleagues (Nicolaus Copernicus Polar Station)
Kongsvegen-320+40-210J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR)
Kronebreen/Holtedahlfonna-160+60-10J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR) (balances excl. calving)
Midtre Lovenbreen-1200-640-760-440J. Kohler and colleagues (NPOLAR)
Nordenskioeldbreen+16+305-305W. van Pelt, V. Pohjola and colleagues (Uppsala Univ., Utrecht Univ.)
Waldemarbreen-1773-1425-1743Ireneusz Sobota and colleagues (Nicolaus Copernicus Polar Station)
Werenskioldbreen-1795-890-750D. Ignatiuk, M. Laska and colleagues (University of Silesia)
Marmaglaciaeren-370+260-1370C. Helanow and colleagues (Tarfala Research Station)
Rabots Glaciaer-650-170-1680C. Helanow and colleagues (Tarfala Research Station)
Riukojietna-1060+150-1400C. Helanow and colleagues (Tarfala Research Station)
Storglaciaeren-240+470-1600G. Rosqvist, P. Eriksson, and colleagues (Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University)
TarfalaglaciaerenP. Jansson and colleagues (Tarfala Research Station)
Adler-590-947-458Huss, Salzmann, Leysinger-Vieli and colleagues (DGUF, GIUZ)
Allalin-269-1778-801-559A. Bauder, M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Basodino-979-963-1440G. Kappenberger and colleagues
Clariden-424-1196-1480M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
(balance incl est. for dry calving)
Corbassiere-450-1336-922M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Corvatsch-S-751-1976-1832M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Findelen-723-944-723Huss, Salzmann, Leysinger-Vieli and colleagues (DGUF, GIUZ)
Gietro-414-1666-664-1318M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Gries-1191-2437-2045-865M. Funk, A. Bauder and colleagues (VAW))
Hohlaub-437-1791-623M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Murtel-462-1408-1233M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Pizol-699-1652-1847M. Huss and colleagues (DGUF, VAW)
Plaine Morte-248-2277-2101M. Huss and colleagues (DGUF, VAW)
Rhone-454-1248-1000A. Bauder and colleagues (VAW)
Sankt Anna-926-1123-1077M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Schwarzbach-1083-1554-1838M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Schwarzberg-164-1768-903M. Huss and colleagues (VAW)
Sex Rouge-144-2541-1658M. Fischer and colleagues (DGUF)
Silvretta-606-1513-1389-1457A. Bauder, M. Funk and colleagues (VAW)
Tsanfleuron-226-2242-2492M. Huss and colleagues (DGUF)
Blue-1520M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Columbia (2057)-1180-750-630-1870M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Daniels-640-540-680-1650M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Easton-820-260-500-1700M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Eel-400M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Emmons-10M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Gulkana-1290-1800-380-1950S. O'Neel, L. Sass and colleagues (USGS)
Ice Worm-780-570-750-2050M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Lemon Creek-2050-1760-2600-3400M. Pelto and colleagues (JIRP)
Lower Curtis-1550-650-820-1440M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Lynch-1420-320-640-1700M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
NisquallyM. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Noisy Creek-890M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
North Klawatti-1150M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Rainbow-880+510-530-1180M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Sandalee+110M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
Sholes-1520+120-820-1970M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
Silver+520M. Larrabee and colleagues (NCNP)
South Cascade-760-610-740E. Whorton and colleagues (USGS)
Sperry+290-340+100-1460D. Fagre, A. Clark and colleagues (USGS)
Taku-780-950-1360-2250C. McNeil, M. Pelto and colleagues (JIRP)
Wolverine-140-1080-1860-1500S. O'Neel, L. Sass and colleagues (USGS)
Yawning-960-640-480-1760M. Pelto and colleagues (NCGCP)
last change 8/10/2019