glacier mass balance data 2005/2006

1   Summary of the balance years

Preliminary mass balance values for the year 2006 are now available from more than 80 glaciers worldwide. The continuous mass balance statistics below are calculated based on the 30 glaciers in 9 mountain ranges*** with long-term data series back to 1980. The statistics for the year 2005 are based on 29 glaciers from 9 regions, and the preliminary values for the year 2006 result from 27 glaciers in 8 regions. The related statistics and figures will be updated as soon as the missing data becomes available.

The average mass balance of the glaciers with available long-term mass balance series around the world continues to decrease, with tentative figures indicating a further thickness reduction of 1.4 m w.e. during the hydrological year 2006. This continues the trend in accelerated ice loss during the past two and a half decades and brings the total loss since 1980 at more than 10.5 m w.e.

Results of the extreme and mean values for the year 2003/04, 2004/05, and 2005/06 have been calculated based on these 30, 29, and 27 glaciers, respectively:

. 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06
Mean (annual) specific net balance (mm w.e.) -743 -563 -1301
Standard deviation (mm w.e.) 950 1042 859
Minimum value (mm w.e.) -2820 -3280 -3190
Maximum value (mm w.e.) 817 1098 560
Positive balances (%) 20 28 4

The corresponding annual and cumulative mass balance results of this data set from glaciers in the Americas and Eurasia are visualized in the following two figures:

Figure 1a and 1b: Mean annual specific net balance (top) and mean cumulative specific net balance (bottom) continuously measured on 30 glaciers in 9 mountain ranges for the period 1980-2004, on 29 glaciers in 9 mountain ranges for 2005, and on 27 glaciers in 8 mountain ranges for 2006.

For more details on monitoring strategy, long-term trends and the extraordinary year 2003 in Central Europe (including references), see:

  • Bishop, M.P., Olsenholler, J.A., Shroder, J.F., Barry, R.G., Raup, B.H., Bush, A.B.G., Copland, L., Dwyer, J.L., Fountain, A.G., Haeberli, W., Kääb, A., Paul, F., Hall, D.K., Kargel, J.S., Molnia, B.F., Trabant, D.C. and Wessels R. 2004. Global land ice measurements from space (GLIMS): Remote sensing and GIS investigations of the Earth's cyrosphere. Geocarto International, 19/2, 57-84.

  • Frauenfelder, R., Zemp, M., Haeberli, W. and Hoelzle, M. 2005. Worldwide glacier mass balance measurements: trends and first results of an extraordinary year in Central Europe. Ice and Climate News 6, 9-10. Ice and Climate News 6, 9-10.

  • Haeberli, W. 2004. Glaciers and ice caps: historical background and strategies of world-wide monitoring. In: Bamber, J.L. and Payne A.J. (eds). Mass Balance of the Cryosphere. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 559-578.

  • Haeberli, W. and Holzhauser, H. 2003. Alpine glacier mass changes during the past two millennia. Pages News, 1/11, 13-15.

  • Haeberli, W., Maisch, M. and Paul, F. 2002. Mountain glaciers in global glimate-related observation networks. WMO Bulletin, 51/1, 18-25.

  • Haeberli, W., Frauenfelder, R., Hoelzle, M. and Maisch, M. 1999. On rates and acceleration trends of global glacier mass changes. Geografiska Annaler, 81A(4), 585–591.

  • Paul, F., Kääb, A. and Haeberli, W. 2007. Recent glacier changes in the Alps observed from satellite: Consequences for future monitoring strategies. Global and Planetary Change, 56 (1/2), 111–122.

  • Zemp, M., Frauenfelder, R., Haeberli, W. and Hoelzle, M. 2005. Worldwide glacier mass balance measurements: general trends and first results of the extraordinary year 2003 in Central Europe. Data of Glaciological Studies [Materialy glyatsiologicheskikh issledovaniy], 99, Moscow, Russia, 3-12.

  • Zemp, M., Haeberli, W., Bajracharya, S., Chinn, T.J., Fountain, A.G., Hagen, J.O., Huggel, C., Kääb, A., Kaltenborn, B.P., Karki, M., Kaser, G., Kotlyakov, V.M., Lambrechts, C., Li, Z.Q., Molnia, B.F., Mool, P., Nellemann, C., Novikov, V., Osipova, G.B., Rivera, A., Shrestha, B., Svoboda, F., Tsvetkov, D.G. and Yao, T.D. 2007. Glaciers and ice caps. Part I: Global overview and outlook. Part II: Glacier changes around the world. In: UNEP: Global outlook for ice & snow. UNEP/GRID-Arendal, Norway: p. 115-152. The entire book is available from:

*** .
Mountain range Glaciers
Cascade Mtns. Place, South Cascade
Svalbard Austre Broeggerbreen, Midtre Lovénbreen
Andes Echaurren Norte
Alaska Gulkana, Wolverine
Scandinavia Engabreen, Alfotbreen, Nigardsbreen, Grasubreen, Storbreen, Hellstugubreen, Hardangerjoekulen, Storglaciaeren
Alps Saint Sorlin, Sarennes, Silvretta, Gries, Sonnblickkees, Vernagtferner, Kesselwandferner, Hintereisferner, Careser
Altai No. 125 (Vodopadniy), Maliy Aktru, Leviy Aktru
Caucasus Djankuat
Tien Shan Ts. Tuyuksuyskiy, Urumqihe S.No.1

2   Mass balance data 2005/06

Name b06
[mm w.e.]
Bahia del Diablo -584
Martial Este -510
Hintereisferner -1507
Jamtalferner -1290
Kesselwandferner -617
Sonnblickkees -621
Vernagtferner -882
Wurtenkees -778
Kleiner Fleisskees -655
Grosser Goldbergkees -1077
Pasterze -1232
Chacaltaya -1199
Charquini sur -376
Zongo -122
Baby Glacier n.a.
Devon Ice Cap n.a.
Helm -2750
Peyto -1650
Place -1900
White -93
Echaurren Norte 560
Urumqihe E-Br. n.a.
Urumqihe S.No.1 n.a.
Urumqihe W-Br. n.a.
Antizana 15 Alpha -450
Argentìere -1420
Gebroulaz -1000
Ossoue -2710
Saint Sorlin -1440
Sarennes -2380
Mittivakkat -590
Breidamjökull E. B. n.a.
Bruarjökull -790
Dyngjujökull -353
Eyabakkajökull -1425
Hofsjökull E -490
Hofsjökull N -510
Hofsjökull SW -610
Koeldukvislarjökull -402
Langjökull Southern Dome -1080
Tungnaarjökull -1569
Chhota Shigri -1413
Hamtah -1391
Calderone 1090
Careser -2169
Ciardoney -2100
Fontana Bianca -1753
Malavalle -1327
Pendente -1780
Vedretta Lunga -1460
Hamaguri Yuki n.a.
Ts. Tuyuksuyskiy -969
New Zealand
Brewster 241
Aalfotbreen -3190
Austdalsbreeen -2060
Austre Broeggerbreen -760
Breidalblikkbrea -2940
Elisebreen -726
Engabreen -1430
Graafjellsbreen -3040
Graasubreen -2080
Hansbreen 90
Hansebreen -3980
Hardangerjoekulen -2220
Hellstugubreen -2010
Irenebreen -822
Kongsvegen 20
Langfjordjoekul -2410
Midtre Lovénbreen -480
Nigardsbreen -1400
Rundvassbreen n.a.
Storbreen -2150
Storglombreen n.a.
Waldemarbreen -747
Artesonraju n.a.
Yanamarey n.a.
Djankuat -800
Garabashi -650
Leviy Aktru -190
Maliy Aktru -140
No. 125 (Vodopadniy) -260
Maladeta -1783
Marmaglaciaeren -1640
Rabots Glaciaer -1190
Riukojietna -1390
Storglaciaeren -1680
Tarfalaglaciaeren -2520
Basodino -2501
Findelen -1200
Gries -2110
Silvretta -845
Colombia (2057) -980
Daniels -1250
Easton -790
Emmons -1
Foss -1020
Gulkana n.a.
Ice Worm -1350
Lemon Creek n.a.
Lower Curtis -1060
Lynch -1050
Nisqually -76
Noisy Creek -32
North Klawatti -338
Rainbow -610
Sandalee -310
Sholes -710
Silver -101
South Cascade -1450
Wolverine n.a.
Yawning -930

wgms-team 10/04/2008