Research

Cumulative regional and global glacier mass changes
Global glacier mass changes and their contributions to sea-level rise from 1961 to 2016 (Zemp et al. Nature 2019)

The compilation, analysis, and dissemination of standardized data and information on glacier distribution and changes are the core tasks of the WGMS. Further, the WGMS is actively supporting several IACS working groups (GLATHIDA, RAGMAC, RGI) and extends the compilation of glacier volume changes using space-borne sensors with the framework of Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). In addition, the WGMS is still involved in capacity building and twinning activities. The well-known glacier monitoring programmes and the WGMS network represent ideal platforms and gateways to reach local stakeholders.

List of monitoring, research and applied projects:

Glacier Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (GlaMBIE), a research project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) within its Polar Science Cluster: 2022-2024

Website

Regional Assessments of Glacier Mass Change (RAGMAC) (2022-2023)
Website

Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) and its role in future glacier monitoring and GLIMS (2022-2023) 
Website

From ice to microorganisms and humans: Toward an interdisciplinary understanding of climate change impacts on the Third Pole (PAMIR), research project funded by the Swiss Polar Institute, under the lead of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland: 2022-2024. SPI Flagship Initiatives website 

Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P), research project funded by EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2002, under the lead of Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam GeoFroschungsZentrum, Germany: 2020-2022. G3P website

Vanishing Glaciers - exploration of microbial life in glacier streams, research project funded by the NOMIS foundation, under the lead of the EPFL, Switzerland: 2018–ongoin. NOMIS website  EPFL website  Project website

Cryospheric Climate Services for improved Adaptation, research project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperations, under the lead of the University of Fribourg: 2017–2022.

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), 312b Lot 4 Land Hydrology and Cryosphere, service project funded by the European Commission, Pre-Operational Phase: 2019-2021. C3S website

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), 312a Lot 8 Glaciers, service project funded by the European Commission, Pre-Operational Phase: 2017-2018. C3S website

Promoting Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change (SMD4GC), research project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperations, Phase 1: 2013–2017. Website

Environmental space geodesy: detection of changes in glacier mass from time-variable gravity (SPICE), a research project of the Space Research Institute in Graz, AT, funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, 2015-2017.

Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems, research project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperations, Phase 1: 2011–2013; Phase 2: 2014–2016.

Swiss GCOS credit for the long-term operation of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, funded by the Swiss GCOS Office at the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, since 2010.

Glacier Laserscanning Experiment Oberwallis, research project funded by Axpo, 2009–2012.