The Randolph Glacier Inventory: a globally complete inventory of glaciers: In Journal of Glaciology, Vol.60, No. 221
The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete collection of digital outlines ofglaciers, excluding the ice sheets, developed to meet the needs of the Fifth Assessment of theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for estimates of past and future mass balance. The RGI wascreated with limited resources in a short period. Priority was given to completeness of coverage, but alimited, uniform set of attributes is attached to each of the $198000 glaciers in its latest version, 3.2.Satellite imagery from 1999–2010 provided most of the outlines. Their total extent is estimated as726800Æ34000km2.Theuncertainty,aboutÆ5%,isderivedfromcarefulsingle-glacierandbasin-scaleuncertainty estimates and comparisons with inventories that were not sources for the RGI. The maincontributors to uncertainty are probably misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover and debris cover.Theseerrorsappearnottobenormallydistributed,andquantifyingthemreliablyisanunsolvedproblem.Combined with digital elevation models, the RGI glacier outlines yield hypsometries that can be com-bined with atmospheric data or model outputs for analysis of the impacts of climatic change on glaciers.The RGI has already proved its value in the generation of significantly improved aggregate estimates ofglacier mass changes and total volume, and thus actual and potential contributions to sea-level rise.
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