An estimate of global glacier volume College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
30 Jan 2013
Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Received: 27 July 2012 – Published in The Cryosphere Discuss.: 03 September 2012 Abstract. I assess the feasibility of using multivariate scaling relationships to
estimate glacier volume from glacier inventory data. Scaling laws are
calibrated against volume observations optimized for the specific purpose of
estimating total global glacier ice volume. I find that adjustments for
continentality and elevation range improve skill of area–volume scaling.
These scaling relationships are applied to each record in the Randolph
Glacier Inventory, which is the first globally complete inventory of glaciers
and ice caps. I estimate that the total volume of all glaciers in the world
is 0.35 ± 0.07 m sea level equivalent, including ice sheet peripheral
glaciers. This is substantially less than a recent state-of-the-art estimate.
Area–volume scaling bias issues for large ice masses, and incomplete
inventory data are offered as explanations for the difference.
Revised: 18 December 2012 – Accepted: 26 December 2012 – Published: 30 January 2013
Citation: Grinsted, A.: An estimate of global glacier volume, The Cryosphere, 7, 141-151, doi:10.5194/tc-7-141-2013, 2013.