A consensus estimate for the ice thickness distribution of all glaciers on Earth

Journal article


Publication Details

Author(s): Farinotti D, Huss M, Fürst J, Landmann J, Machguth H, Maussion F, Pandit A
Journal: Nature Geoscience
Publication year: 2019
Volume: 12
Journal issue: 3
Pages range: 168-+
ISSN: 1752-0894


Abstract

Knowledge of the ice thickness distribution of the world's glaciers is a fundamental prerequisite for a range of studies. Projections of future glacier change, estimates of the available freshwater resources or assessments of potential sea-level rise all need glacier ice thickness to be accurately constrained. Previous estimates of global glacier volumes are mostly based on scaling relations between glacier area and volume, and only one study provides global-scale information on the ice thickness distribution of individual glaciers. Here we use an ensemble of up to five models to provide a consensus estimate for the ice thickness distribution of all the about 215,000 glaciers outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The models use principles of ice flow dynamics to invert for ice thickness from surface characteristics. We find a total volume of 158 +/- 41 x 10(3) km(3), which is equivalent to 0.32 +/- 0.08 m of sea-level change when the fraction of ice located below present-day sea level (roughly 15%) is subtracted. Our results indicate that High Mountain Asia hosts about 27% less glacier ice than previously suggested, and imply that the timing by which the region is expected to lose half of its present-day glacier area has to be moved forward by about one decade.


FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Fürst, Johannes Dr.
Institut für Geographie


External institutions with authors

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck / University of Innsbruck
University of Fribourg / Universitè de Fribourg


How to cite

APA:
Farinotti, D., Huss, M., Fürst, J., Landmann, J., Machguth, H., Maussion, F., & Pandit, A. (2019). A consensus estimate for the ice thickness distribution of all glaciers on Earth. Nature Geoscience, 12(3), 168-+. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0300-3

MLA:
Farinotti, Daniel, et al. "A consensus estimate for the ice thickness distribution of all glaciers on Earth." Nature Geoscience 12.3 (2019): 168-+.

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2019-19-03 at 02:08