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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bethan DaviesORCiD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete collection of digital outlines of glaciers, excluding the ice sheets, developed to meet the needs of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for estimates of past and future mass balance. The RGI was created with limited resources in a short period. Priority was given to completeness of coverage, but a limited, uniform set of attributes is attached to each of the ~198 000 glaciers in its latest version, 3.2. Satellite imagery from 1999-2010 provided most of the outlines. Their total extent is estimated as 726 800±34 000km2. The uncertainty, about ±5%, is derived from careful single-glacier and basin-scale uncertainty estimates and comparisons with inventories that were not sources for the RGI. The main contributors to uncertainty are probably misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover and debris cover. These errors appear not to be normally distributed, and quantifying them reliably is an unsolved problem. Combined with digital elevation models, the RGI glacier outlines yield hypsometries that can be combined with atmospheric data or model outputs for analysis of the impacts of climatic change on glaciers. The RGI has already proved its value in the generation of significantly improved aggregate estimates of glacier mass changes and total volume, and thus actual and potential contributions to sea-level rise.
Author(s): Pfeffer WT, Arendt AA, Bliss A, Bolch T, Cogley JG, Gardner AS, Hagen J-O, Hock R, Kaser G, Kienholz C, Miles ES, Moholdt G, Molg N, Paul F, Radic V, Rastner P, Raup BH, Rich J, Sharp MJ, Andreassen LM, Bajracharya S, Barrand NE, Beedle MJ, Berthier E, Bhambri R, Brown I, Burgess DO, Burgess EW, Cawkwell F, Chinn T, Copland L, Cullen NJ, Davies B, De Angelis H, Fountain AG, Frey H, Giffen BA, Glasser NF, Gurney SD, Hagg W, Hall DK, Haritashya UK, Hartmann G, Herreid S, Howat I, Jiskoot H, Khromova TE, Klein A, Kohler J, Konig M, Kriegel D, Kutuzov S, Lavrentiev I, Le Bris R, Li X, Manley WF, Mayer C, Menounos B, Mercer A, Mool P, Negrete A, Nosenko G, Nuth C, Osmonov A, Pettersson R, Racoviteanu A, Ranzi R, Sarikaya MA, Schneider C, Sigurdsson O, Sirguey P, Stokes CR, Wheate R, Wolken GJ, Wu LZ, Wyatt FR
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Glaciology
Print publication date: 01/06/2014
Online publication date: 10/07/2017
Acceptance date: 26/01/2014
Date deposited: 22/08/2022
ISSN (print): 0022-1430
ISSN (electronic): 1727-5652
Publisher: International Glaciology Society
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