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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)706700
Earliest analysis1750-01-01
Most recent analysis2021-02-26
Number of glaciers445108
Area of glacier coverage (latest snapshot), km21.20025e+06
Number of glaciers with multi-temporal coverage173849

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 39172 94446.7
2 Western Canada and USA 20530 14373.8
3 Arctic Canada, North 7541 125708
4 Arctic Canada, South 13635 52261.2
5 Greenland Periphery 22484 195667
6 Iceland 618 21999.7
7 Svalbard and Jan Mayen 1895 35029.7
8 Scandinavia 7743 2836.22
9 Russian Arctic 2964 57838
10 Asia, North 10890 3671.56
11 Central Europe 14754 2772.85
12 Caucasus and Middle East 4872 1463.78
13 Asia, Central 123563 94718.4
14 Asia, South West 55232 35066.2
15 Asia, South East 30452 27159.8
16 Low Latitudes 6177 2880.9
17 Southern Andes 69646 44055.9
18 New Zealand 6115 907.33
19 Antarctic and Subantarctic 6405 387757

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 17511 10734.4
3 Canada 6685 133995
4 Alaska 3784 22208.2
5 Conterminous USA 7962 1157.94
7 Sweden 284 279.505
8 China 74448 319489
9 New Zealand 6090 1800.41
10 Southwestern Asia (Pakistan + Afghanistan) 410 709.905
11 S. European Alps 948 912.667
12 Himalaya (India, Nepal, Bhutan) 43238 47309.5
13 Tropical glaciers 909 968.55
15 West Antarctica 1 165079
16 Russian Glaciers (exact boundaries of RC to be defined) 6981 21264.6
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 27646.6
22 Iceland 263 11058.2
23 Iran 484 40.2522
26 Kerguelen Island and other Antarctic Periphery 1385 36561.8
27 Argentina 19104 8304.92
28 Turkey 51 11.5312
29 Mongolia 2730 1634.29
30 European Alps 13029 7600.88
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 100709
37 Central Asia 661 133.244
38 Caucausus Region 11064 6819.54
39 Japan 5 0.475495
502 Siberian Mountains 6829 29501.7
505 Antarctic Peninsula 1547 95272.6
507 Olympic Peninsula 985 25.787
508 Kamchatka Glaciers 732 683.136
511 Italy 904 368.32
520 Chile 86 249.423
526 East Central Greenland 259 55008.2
536 Northern Cordillera 17549 27038
545 Northern Siberia 72 12.0289
547 Irian Jaya 15 4.47097
550 Northeast Greenland 48 1160.96
556 Khumbu Area 3529 6207.41
561 Various (GlobGlacier) 91903 182752
562 Chilean Norte Chico (25 to 32 degrees south latitude) 152 20.8401
565 Antarctic Peninsula 2536 100845
571 Swiss Alps 9542 3030.85
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
579 Alaska 87 28.7532
580 Chugach 1818 6579.46
581 Juneau area 7299 25908.4
582 Dry Valleys 662 4209.38
583 Kenai Peninsula 6885 16658.6
584 NE Greenland 202 10228.3
585 European Alps 10359 5601.58
602 Various (NSIDC) 255 33209.6
761 Randolph Glacier Inventory; Umbrella RC for merging the RGI into GLIMS 149977 362549