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Home > Activities > TOPC > UNFCCC ECVs > T6 Glaciers and ice caps

ECV T6 Glaciers and ice caps
T1-River | T2-Water Use  | T3-Ground Water | T4-Lake | T5-Snow | T6-Galciers |
T7-Frost | T8-Albedo | T9-Land | T10-fAPAR | T11-LAI | T12-Biomass | T13-Fire |

Introduction

Changes in glaciers and ice caps provide some of the clearest evidence of climate change, constitute key variables for early-detection strategies in global climate-related observations and cause serious impacts on the terrestrial water cycle and societies dependent on glacial melt water (GCOS 2004).

ECV Glaciers and ice caps standards report

As requested by UNFCCC SBSTA/COP for its 23rd Session in Montreal, November 2005, GTOS is undertaking the assessment of the status of the development of standards for each of the essential climate variables in the terrestrial domain. The following report, documentation and other material have been compiled for glaciers and ice caps. We very much welcome your comments and inputs in improving and completing the analysis. Please send any material and comments to the GTOS Secretariat.

T06rep

Download report PDF, 0.95 Mb, 1 November 2009

References

Within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G), the following selected guidelines and standards have been established for the international monitoring of glaciers:

International glacier monitoring strategy

Haeberli, W., Cihlar, J. and Barry, R.G. (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

Haeberli, W., Hoelzle, M., Paul, F. and Zemp, M. (2007): Integrated
monitoring of mountain glaciers as key indicators of global climate
change: the European Alps. Annals of Glaciology, 46 (119).


Measurement of glacier fluctuations (i.e. front variation and mass balance)

Forel (1895): Instructions pour l’observation des variations des
glaciers. Discours préliminaire. Archives des Sciences physiques et naturelles, XXXIV, 209-229

Gletscherkommission der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft (1956): Instruktionen für die Kontrolle der Gletscher in den Schweizeralpen

Kaser, G., Fountain, A., and Jansson, P. 2002. A manual for monitoring the mass balance of mountain glaciers with particular attention to low latitude characteristics. A contribution from the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) to the UNESCO HKH-Friend programme. IHP-VI, Technical Documents in Hydrology, No. 59, UNESCO, Paris. 107p. + Appendices

Østrem, G. and Stanley, A. (1969): Glacier mass balance measurements. A
manual for field and office work. Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Norwegian Water Resources and Electricity Board. 125 pp

Østrem, G. and Brugman, M. (1991): Glacier mass-balance measurements: a
manual for field and office work, NHRI Science Report.


Guidelines for the submission of glacier fluctuation data

General guidelines for the data submission to the World Glacier
Monitoring Service

Digital data submission form of the World Glacier Monitoring Service for
the submission of data on glacier fluctuations

Notes on the completion of the data submission form of the World Glacier
Monitoring Service

All three files can be downloaded from the website of the World Glacier Monitoring Service: http://www.wgms.ch/datasub.html


Historical guidelines for the World Glacier Inventory
(based on aerial photography and maps)

Müller, F., Caflisch, T. and Müller, G. (Eds.). 1977. Instructions for the compilation and assemblage of data for a world glacier inventory. IAHS(ICSI)/UNESCO report, Temporal Technical Secretariat for the World Glacier Inventory (TTS/WGI), ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Müller, F. (Ed.). 1978. Instructions for the compilation and assemblage of data for a world glacier inventory; Supplement: Identification/glacier number IAHS(ICSI)/UNEP/UNESCO report, Temporal Technical Secretariat for the World Glacier Inventory (TTS/WGI), ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Scherler, K. (Ed.). 1983. Guidelines for preliminary glacier inventories. IAHS(ICSI)/ UNEP/UNESCO report, Temporal Technical Secretariat for the World Glacier Inventory (TTS/WGI), ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

UNESCO (1970): Perennial ice and snow masses – a guide for compilation and assemblage of data for the World Glacier Inventory. Technical Papers in Hydrology No. 1

UNESCO 1970/73. Combined heat, ice and water balances at selected glacier basins. Part I: A guide for compilation and assemblage of data for glacier mass balance measurements. Part II: Specifications, standards and data exchange. UNESCO/ IAHS Technical Papers in Hydrology 5.


Guidelines for the Glacier Inventory of the GLIMS initiative
(based on satellite images)

Rau, F., Mauz, F., Vogt, S., Khalsa, J.S. and Raup, B. (2005):
Illustrated GLIMS glacier classification manual. Glacier classification guidance for the GLIMS Inventory. NSIDC: 36 pp.

GLIMS Algorithm Working Group. 2006. GLIMS algorithm document

Raup, B., and Khalsa, J.S. 2006. GLIMS analysis tutorial. Draft,
20060919. 13p.


Based on the glacier inventory standards above
Recommendations and requirements for satellite-based components of the cryospheric monitoring have been derived and published in.

GCOS (2006): Systematic observation requirements for satellite- based
products for climate. Supplemental details to the satellite-based component of the “Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC”, Report GCOS-107 (WMO/TD No. 1338), September 2006. 90p

IGOS (2006): IGOS Cryosphere theme For the Monitoring of our Environment
from Space and from Earth. Version 0.9.5.1, November 2006. 118p.

Relevant Web links

Listed below are relevant links to the glaciers and ice caps ECVs. New links are welcome.

GLIMS
WGI
WGMS

TEMS variables and T-sites

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring Sites (TEMS) database contains details on ecological variables and research sites which are undertaking ecological measurements.


Contributions

We would like to thank the following individuals for having provided inputs and comments to the glaciers and ice caps ECV.

. Monica Monteduro

. Reuben Sessa
.
Josef Cihlar
. Michael Zemp
. Wilfried Haeberli
. Martin Hoelzle
. Frank Paul

Contact

We welcome your inputs, comments and queries. Please send feedback to the GTOS Secretariat.

The above activities are part of Task Number CL-06-03 of the GEOSS implementation plan of GEO.

T1-River | T2-Water Use  | T3-Ground Water | T4-Lake | T5-Snow | T6-Galciers |
T7-Frost | T8-Albedo | T9-Land | T10-fAPAR | T11-LAI | T12-Biomass | T13-Fire |
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© FAO   ::   Global Terrestrial Observing System - GTOS   ::   11 November 2009