Progress and Challenges for GLIMS 2: Merging the GLIMS and RGI Glacier Databases

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Bruce H Raup1, Richard L Armstrong2, Jeffrey S Kargel3, W Tad Pfeffer1, J. Graham Cogley4 and Regine Hock5, (1)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)Univ Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States, (4)Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada, (5)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
Melt from mountain glaciers is contributing about one third to the sea level rise total, equal to the current contribution from the ice sheets, and this is likely to be the case for the next century. The GLIMS Glacier Database provides detailed and traceable information on glaciers that can be used by the modeling and assessment communities to estimate present and future contributions from glaciers to sea level.

There are currently two major collections of glacier outlines: the glacier database of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative, and the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI). The GLIMS database is rich in source metadata and contains time series for thousands of glaciers, while the RGI is a single snapshot in time and has less of the crucial metadata. However, the RGI has nearly complete global coverage, while the GLIMS database is currently at about 70% coverage.

Working with members of both the GLIMS and RGI communities, we have begun to merge the RGI database into an enhanced GLIMS Glacier Database and to provide tools for downloading glacier data in either the GLIMS or RGI data model. The result will be an improved glacier database compared to either of the inputs, which we are calling GLIMS 2. This contribution provides an update of this work, its challenges and estimated time line for completion.