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The GLIMS Glacier Database: Summary Statistics

Basic statistics of the GLIMS Glacier Database

Note: These numbers include some double-counting of glaciers in cases where multiple outlines exist for the same glacier but don't share the same glacier ID. The result is that the totals for glacier number and glacier area are too high for the current state of glaciers. We expect this to be fixed soon. A good working number for the number of glaciers and ice caps on Earth is 200,000, and the area is approximately 750,000 km2 (not including the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica).

Number of glacier analyses (snapshots)558007
Earliest analysis1750-01-01
Most recent analysis2019-07-18
Number of glaciers379628
Area of glacier coverage (latest snapshot), km21.14365e+06
Number of glaciers with multi-temporal coverage132319

The GLIMS Glacier Database: Summary Statistics by GTN-G Region

The Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) coordinates global satellite observations of glaciers.

GTN-G regionRegion NameNumber of outlinesGlacier area, km2
1 Alaska 37307 98531.7
2 Western Canada and USA 19637 14527.4
3 Arctic Canada, North 6821 116592
4 Arctic Canada, South 7422 40888.2
5 Greenland Periphery 21629 184730
6 Iceland 617 21999.7
7 Svalbard and Jan Mayen 1832 35094.8
8 Scandinavia 3460 2944.89
9 Russian Arctic 2775 55700.5
10 Asia, North 7736 2930.66
11 Central Europe 13814 2763.42
12 Caucasus and Middle East 3861 1433.38
13 Asia, Central 118818 87228.5
14 Asia, South West 53769 34106.3
15 Asia, South East 29209 25117
16 Low Latitudes 3991 2471.14
17 Southern Andes 38339 34669.1
18 New Zealand 3592 1134.29
19 Antarctic and Subantarctic 4971 380942

Contributions by Regional Center (RC)

Stewards, which report to RCs, have RC IDs above 500.

RC ID Primary Geographic Area Number of glacier outlines Sum of glacier area, km2
2 Norway 3518 3072.62
3 Canada 4675 96212.8
4 Alaska 3784 22208.2
5 Conterminous USA 5282 683.023
7 Sweden 271 264.475
8 China 74448 320053
9 New Zealand 316 353.754
10 Southwestern Asia (Pakistan + Afghanistan) 410 709.904
11 S. European Alps 948 912.667
12 Himalaya (India, Nepal, Bhutan) 43238 47309.4
13 Tropical glaciers 909 968.55
15 West Antarctica 1 165079
16 Russian Glaciers (exact boundaries of RC to be defined) 1363 1690.71
17 Russian and former Soviet Union glaciers 91 500.256
18 Antarctic Peninsula 659 26449.8
19 Svalbard, Jan Mayen, and Bouvet 1583 33841
20 Chilean glaciers, between -18 and -56 degrees latitude 88 3973.68
22 Iceland 262 11058.2
23 Iran 484 40.2522
26 Kerguelen Island 340 1242.77
27 Argentina 19107 8304.97
28 Turkey 51 11.5312
29 Mongolia 2091 1233.21
30 Swiss Alps 8968 5480.55
32 Italian Alps 30 5.60736
33 French Alps 2155 1288
34 Austrian Alps 4747 2821.99
35 Pyrenees 47 4.20039
36 Asia 131706 100710
37 Central Asia 661 133.244
38 Caucausus Region 6571 4351.92
502 Siberian Mountains 6099 7285.16
505 Antarctic Peninsula 1547 95272.5
507 Olympic Peninsula 985 25.787
511 Italy 904 368.32
520 Chile 86 249.423
526 East Central Greenland 259 55008.1
536 Northern Cordillera 17549 27038.1
545 Northern Siberia 72 12.0289
547 Irian Jaya 15 4.47097
550 Northeast Greenland 48 1160.96
556 Khumbu Area 3520 6122.11
561 Various (GlobGlacier) 41007 110981
562 Chilean Norte Chico (25 to 32 degrees south latitude) 152 20.8401
565 Antarctic Peninsula 2536 100845
571 Swiss Alps 9542 3030.84
572 Mainland Norway 1069 51591.5
573 Svalbard 2594 47108.4
574 Irian Jaya 93 27.3459
575 Coropuna, Peru 19 922.525
576 Bolivia 16 6.34029
577 Prince William Sound 245 18423.5
578 Kamchatka Peninsula 576 764.712
602 Various (NSIDC) 255 33209.6
761 Randolph Glacier Inventory; Umbrella RC for merging the RGI into GLIMS 150015 362632