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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)618876
Earliest analysis1750-01-01
Most recent analysis2019-10-16
Number of glaciers418901
Area of glacier coverage (latest snapshot), km21.18831e+06
Number of glaciers with multi-temporal coverage146480

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 37309 98533.3
2 Western Canada and USA 19640 14521.7
3 Arctic Canada, North 7541 125709
4 Arctic Canada, South 14571 60095.1
5 Greenland Periphery 22284 185529
6 Iceland 618 21999.7
7 Svalbard and Jan Mayen 1832 35094.8
8 Scandinavia 4183 3193.83
9 Russian Arctic 2775 55700.5
10 Asia, North 9831 3392.98
11 Central Europe 14539 2860.03
12 Caucasus and Middle East 4215 1516.29
13 Asia, Central 123563 94719.8
14 Asia, South West 55232 35066
15 Asia, South East 30452 27158.9
16 Low Latitudes 6095 2866.85
17 Southern Andes 54516 38676.9
18 New Zealand 4706 1041.99
19 Antarctic and Subantarctic 4971 380941

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
1 Greenland 715 3232.98
2 Norway 7580 5278.21
3 Canada 6685 133995
4 Alaska 3784 22208.2
5 Conterminous USA 5286 676.757
7 Sweden 269 247.775
8 China 74448 319489
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 25033 27646.7
22 Iceland 263 11058.2
23 Iran 484 40.2522
26 Kerguelen Island 340 1242.77
27 Argentina 19104 8304.9
28 Turkey 51 11.5312
29 Mongolia 2091 1233.21
30 Swiss Alps 13029 7600.85
32 Italian Alps 30 5.60736
33 French Alps 2155 1288
34 Austrian Alps 4747 2821.99
35 Pyrenees 47 4.20039
36 Asia 134766 100710
37 Central Asia 661 133.244
38 Caucausus Region 8840 5758.66
39 Japan 5 0.475495
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) 60881 155051
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 22 1764.31
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 149880 362551