Dec 16, 2015

Global Glacier Change Bulletin (2012 - 2013)

by
Michael Zemp, Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, Samuel U. Nussbaumer, Fabia Hüsler, Horst Machguth, Nico Mölg, Frank Paul, Martin Hoelzle
,
World Glacier Monitoring Service

The World Glacier Monitoring Service releases its Global Glacier Change Bulletin every two years. The next bulletin (2014-2015) should be released in 2017.


  • States that internationally coordinated glacier monitoring began in 1894, with the periodic publication of compiled information on glacier fluctuations starting one year later
  • Finds that in the time period covered by the present bulletin (2013-2014), the glaciers observed lost more than 0.7 m w.e. (water equivalent) per year, thus continuing the historically unprecedented ice loss observed since the turn of the century and amounting to double the ice loss rates of the 1990s
  • Finds that the mean mass balance for 2013/14 was -750 mm w.e. per year
    • Notes that this is as negative as the mean mass balance for the first decade of the 21st century (2001–2010: -740 mm w.e. per year) which has been without precedent on a global scale, at least for the time period with available observations
  • Finds that the maximum mass loss of the 1980–2000 time period (observed in 1998) has been exceeded five times since the turn of the century: in 2003, 2006, 2011, 2013, and probably again in 2014
  • Finds that the percentage of positive glacier mass balances decreased from 33% in the 1980s to below 20% (2011/12–2013/14), and there have been no more years with a positive mean balance for almost three decades
  • States that the melt rate and cumulative loss in glacier thickness continues to be extraordinary
  • Finds that the glaciers are in strong and increasing imbalance with the climate and, hence will continue to lose mass even if climate remains stable

  • Presents a global analysis of glaciers with regional information for:
    • Alaska
    • Western North America
    • Arctic Canada North and South
    • Greenland
    • Iceland
    • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
    • Scandinavia
    • Central Europe
    • Caucasus and Middle East
    • Russian Arctic
    • Asia North
    • Asia Central
    • Asia South West and South East
    • Low latitudes (including Africa and New Guinea)
    • Southern Andes
    • New Zealand
    • Antarctica and subantarctic islands

  • Provides detailed analysis for:
    • Bahía Del Diablo (Antarctica/Antarctic Peninsula)
    • Martial Este (Argentina/Andes Fueguinos)
    • Pasterze (Austria/Alps)
    • Vernagtferner (Austria/Alps)
    • Zongo (Bolivia/Tropical Andes)
    • Findelen (Switzerland/Alps)
    • Parlung No. 94 (China/Southeast Tibetan Plateau)
    • Conejeras (Colombia/Cordillera Central)
    • Maladeta (Spain/Pyrenees)
    • Freya (Greenland/Northeast Greenland)
    • CaresÈR (Italy/Alps)
    • Langenferner (Italy/Alps)
    • Lewis (Kenya/Mt. Kenya)
    • Abramov (Kyrgyzstan/Tien Shan)
    • Tsentralniy Tuyuksuyskiy (Kazakhstan/Tien Shan)
    • Waldemarbreen (Norway/Spitsbergen)