Report GD-29: About the World Data Center System

The World Data Center System1

The World Data Centers (WDCs) were established in 1957 to provide archives for the observational data resulting from the International Geophysical Year (IGY). In 1958 the WDCs were invoked to deal with the data resulting from the International Geophysical Cooperation 1959, the one-year extension of the IGY. In 1960, the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) Comite International de Geophysique (CIG) invited the scientific community to continue to send to the WDCs similar kinds of data from observations in 1960 and following years, and undertook to provide a revised Guide to International Data Exchange for that purpose. In parallel, the CIG inquired of the IGY WDCs whether they were willing to treat the post-IGY data; and with few exceptions, the WDCs agreed to do so. Thus the WDCs have been serving the scientific community continuously since the IGY, and many of them archive data for earlier periods.

In November 1987 the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) Panel on World Data Centers prepared a new version of the Guide to International Data Exchange, originally published in 1957, and revised in 1963, 1973 and 1979. The new publication, Guide to the World Data Center System, Part I, The World Data Centers (General Principles, Locations and Services), was issued by the Secretariat of the ICSU Panel on World Data Centers. This new version of the Guide contains descriptions of each of the twenty-seven currently operating disciplinary centers, with address, telephone, telex, and contact persons listed. The reader is referred to the new Guide for descriptions of the responsibilities of the WDCs, the exchange of data between them, contribution of data to WDCs, and the dissemination of data by them. The WDCs for Glaciology are listed below.

World Data Center-A for Glaciology [Snow and Ice]
Address: WDC-A for Glaciology
CIRES, Campus Box 449
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0449 USA
Telephone: (303) 492-6199
Telefax: (303) 492-2468
Director: Roger G. Barry
World Data Center-B1 for Glaciology
Address: World Data Center B1 for Glaciology
Molodezhnaya 3
Moscow 117296 RUSSIA
Telephone: 130-05-87
Telefax: 411478 SGG SU

World Data Center-C for Glaciology
Address: WDC-C for Glaciology
Scott Polar Research Institute
Lensfield Road
Telephone: (0223) 336556
Telefax: 81240 CAMSPL G
Manager: Oliver J. Merrington

World Data Center-D for Glaciology [Snow and Ice] and Geocryology
Address: Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Lanzhou 730000 CHINA
Telephone: (86) 0931-26725, ext. 308
Director: Professor Xie Zichu

Additionally, the World Glacier Monitoring Service provides international data services including data analyses and preparation of specialized data products. It merges the previous activity of the Permanent Service on the Fluctuations of Glaciers and the Temporary Technical Secretariat for World Glacier Inventory. These activities are not part of the WDC system but the center cooperates with WDCs in the discipline. Users wishing assistance in seeking data or services from this group may contact an appropriate WDC.

World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS)

Dr. W. Haeberli
Section of Glaciology
VAW/ETH, ETH Zentrum

1. Adapted from Guide to the World Data Center System. Part 1. The World Data Centers (General Principles, Locations and Services). International Council of Scientific Unions. Panel on World Data Centers, November 1987, 91pp.