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Bridging-credit for the continuation and reorganisation of the World Glacier Monitoring Service

English title Bridging-credit for the continuation and reorganisation of the World Glacier Monitoring Service
Applicant Haeberli Wilfried
Number 116589
Funding scheme Research Infrastructure
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.04.2007 - 31.03.2010
Approved amount 337'922.00
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Keywords (4)

Worldwide glacier monitoring; Climate change; glacier; monitoring

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Glaciers are an inherent component of cold mountain culture and landscape, a unique source of fresh water, an important economic factor of tourism and hydro-power production, an essential component of current and possible future rises in sea level and a potential source of serious natural hazards. Due to their proximity to the melting point and strong reaction to climate change, glaciers are among the most essential variables required for global climate related monitoring. A worldwide collection of information about ongoing glacier changes was initiated in 1894 with the foundation of the International Glacier Commission at the Sixth International Geological Congress in Zurich, Switzerland. It was hoped that long-term glacier observations would give insight into processes of climatic change such as the formation of ice ages. Since 1986 the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS; continues to maintain the collection and publication of standardised information on ongoing glacier changes. This activity builds on a network of local investigators and national correspondents in all the countries involved in glacier monitoring and includes the operation of the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers within the Global Climate Observing System. During the past two decades glaciers have been increasingly recognised as key indicators of global climate change. At the same time, the funding situation for the central service has deteriorated in such a way that the continuance of the operational business was endangered. The approved bridging-credit by the Swiss National Science Foundation will allow to guarantee the continuation of the operational service, to maintain the international network over the next two years and to find a long-term funding solution with national and international parties.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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