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The main objective of the Glaciers_cci project is to contribute to the efforts of creating a globally complete and detailed glacier inventory as requested in action T2.1 by GCOS (2006). This activity has two major parts: One is data creation (glacier outlines) in selected and currently still missing key regions, and the other one is in establishing a more consistent framework for glacier entity identification to enhance the integrity and error characterization of the available data sets. As meltwater from glaciers and icecaps provide a substantial contribution to global sea-level rise, the project will also create two additional products in selected key regions, elevation changes and velocity fields.

The project started in 2011 with Phase 1 and Phase 2 started in 2014.

Glacier products & equivalent CMIP5/Obs4MIPs Parameters

The table below shows the Glacier output and its equivalent CMIP5 parameters, which suggests its suitable for submission to Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons), an activity to make observational products more accessible for climate model intercomparisons.

CMIP5 Table CMIP5 Matching Parameter : CMIP5 Name CMIP5 Priority
Glacier Area fx Fraction of Grid Cell Covered with Glacier : sftgif 1
Elevation Change - - -
Surface Velocity - - -

Parameter characteristics & GCOS Requirements


Split at 3km is arbitrary
Types of errors
Single sensor uncertainty estimates for every observation (SSEOB)
Single sensor accuracy estimates for every observation (SSAOB)
Single sensor uncertainty estimates for TCDR (SSECDR)
Single sensor accuracy estimates for TCDR (SSACDR)
Error covariance matrix for TCDR (ERRCOV)
L3 merged product accuracy (ERRMERG)