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Department of Geography

Running a world class database on glaciers

Glaciers are key indicators of on­going climate change. The World Glacier Monitoring Service com­piles and dis­seminates stand­ard­ized data on glacier fluctuations. Recently, the Global Glacier Change Bulletin No. 4 was published.

Rembesdalskåka - an outlet glacier from Hardangerjøkulen in Norway

The report covers the observation periods 2017/18 and 2018/19, with preliminary values for 2019/20. Since the last bulletin, more than 25,000 database records were added from almost 10,000 glaciers measured by about 400 scientists and observers from 40 countries.

Global Glacier Change Bulletin No. 4

With this, the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) - located at the Department of Geography - maintains a unique database that is an indispensable treasure of international snow and ice research. Datasets and related assessments are prominently cited in reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

Beyond the periodic, narrative synthesis reports, the WGMS provides open access to the related database as well as intuitive visualizations, available to both the scientific community and the general public.

Current state of observed glaciers around the world
Glacier contributions to sea-level rise

Picture: Rembesdalskåka - an outlet glacier from Hardangerjøkulen in Norway (© H. Elvehøy, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate).


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