What is the status of glacier monitoring at national levels?
To assess glacier monitoring at national levels, “country profiles” are compiled by a standardized procedure giving information on glacier distribution as well as on glacier changes. To achieve this, we analyzed the available inventories from the “World Glacier Inventory” (WGI; WGMS and NSIDC 2012), the “Global Land Ice Measurement from Space” initiative (GLIMS; GLIMS and NSIDC 2012), and all available data on glacier changes from the “Fluctuations of Glaciers” database (FoG; WGMS 2015). Glacier changes are described by glacier front variations, mass balances based on the glaciological method, as well as thickness/volume changes deduced from in situ, airborne or spaceborne geodetic surveys. Note that for the present assessment, we only considered glacier data available from the dedicated international repositories (i.e., GLIMS, WGI, and FoG databases, to be downloaded from www. gtn-g.org) as of 2015. This approach allows for a standardized comparison between countries and regions, and hence provides an immediate baseline for assessing progresses in glacier monitoring at the various tiers of the GTN-G monitoring strategy (Haeberli et al. 2000; Haeberli 2004).
Access the full paper, published in Mountain Research and Development: Worldwide Assessment of National Glacier Monitoring and Future Perspectives.
List of 'country profiles'
- GLIMS and NSIDC (2005, updated 2012): GLIMS Glacier Database. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center.
- Haeberli, W., Cihlar, J. & R.G. Barry (2000): Glacier monitoring within the Global Climate Observing System. Annals of Glaciology, 31: p. 241–246.
- Haeberli, W. (2004): Glaciers and ice caps: historical background and strategies of world-wide monitoring. In: Bamber, J.L., Payne A.J. (eds.): Mass balance of the cryosphere. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: p. 559–578.
- WGMS and NSIDC (1989, updated 2012): World Glacier Inventory. Compiled and made available by the World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zurich, Switzerland, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder CO, U.S.A. doi: 10.7265/N5/NSIDC-WGI-2012-02.
- WGMS (2015): Global Glacier Change Bulletin No. 1 (2012-2013). Zemp, M., Gärtner-Roer, I., Nussbaumer, S. U., Hüsler, F., Machguth, H., Mölg, N., Paul, F., and Hoelzle, M. (eds.), ICSU(WDS)/IUGG(IACS)/UNEP/ UNESCO/WMO, World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zurich, Switzerland, 230 pp., publication based on database version: doi:10.5904/wgms-fog-2015-11.