Dec 16, 2015

Global Glacier Change Bulletin (2012 - 2013)

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)