The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) has been a Regular member of the World Data System since 13 December, 2011. WGMS is a leading provider of standardized data on glacier fluctuations. WGMS collects and disseminates data on changes in mass, volume, area, and length of glaciers with time, as well as statistical information on the distribution of perennial surface ice in space.
WGMS’s mission is to support the understanding and assessment of the effects of climate change on glaciers and ice caps, and their implications for water resources, sea level, and natural hazards. WGMS works under the auspices of several international organizations, such as the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS), the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), the International Science Council (ISC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
WGMS follows clear procedures and workflows for safeguarding, quality-assessing, standardizing, and serving glacier data to the world, using FAIR principles. WGMS also promotes open science, data literacy, and data stewardship among its network of scientists and data providers.
Here are some of WGMS’s accomplishments:
- Developed the Fluctuations of Glaciers database: a database containing data on glacier changes in length, area, volume, and mass since 1894.
- Created the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers: a federated network of data repositories that provides access to glacier data from around the world.
- Launched the Glacier Map Collection: a collection of historical and contemporary maps of glaciers from various sources, complete with citations and metadata.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service nourishes the global science community through its dedication to compiling comprehensive glacier data and promoting its use to understand worldwide environmental changes. As an engaged member of the World Data System, WGMS evolves continuously to broaden its services and ensure they speak to emerging research needs and societal challenges.