Achieving Global Coverage of the Multi-Temporal Glacier Map (GLIMS)

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Complete the global coverage of the world's estimated 200,000 glaciers and map their extent and rate of change.


Bruce H. Raup

Project Summary

Melt from mountain glaciers is contributing about one third to the sea level rise total, equal to the current contribution from the ice sheets, and this is likely to continue for the next 100 years. The GLIMS Glacier Database provides detailed and traceable information on glaciers that can be used by the modeling community to forecast future contributions from glaciers to sea level. GLIMS is an international project with participation from more than 60 institutions in 28 nations worldwide. Each institution (called a Regional Center, or RC) oversees the creation and analysis of data for a particular region appropriate to their expertise. These data are submitted to the GLIMS database at NSIDC.

The GLIMS Glacier Database currently covers about 70 percent of the world's glaciers. Another glacier map, the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI), has global coverage, but less information about each glacier. This project is working to merge the RGI into the GLIMS database, and developing tools to provide the complete data set or subsets in either RGI or GLIMS formats. We are also working to improve the Web access to the data.

For more information, see the GLIMS Web site

Contact NSIDC User Services for more information.