UNEP: World Glaciers Need Better Monitoring

Global Glaciers Changes: facts and figures The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the

World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) launched a new facts and figures report

on glaciers and ice caps during a side event on 1 September 2008, in Geneva,

Switzerland, during the 29th plenary session of the Intergovernmental

Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “Global Glacier Changes: Facts and Figures”

presents recent fluctuations of glaciers and ice caps and underlines an overall

trend of glaciers' retreat. Wilfried Haeberli, Director of WGMS, noted that

glaciers are unique demonstration objects of global climate change.

The new

publication confirms the global trend of collapse and disintegration of

glaciers. In particular, it indicates that the average annual melting rate of

glaciers has doubled since the turn of the millennium, with record losses

posted in 2006 for key reference sites.

Peter Gilruth, Director of the Division

of Early Warning and Assessment, UNEP, underlined UNEP's work on synthesizing

scientific information on global environmental issues and noted that the new

report on glaciers will become a key information resource. Haeberli highlighted

that the lack of data on glaciers in some vulnerable regions undermines the

ability to provide precise early warning for countries and populations at risk.

In this regard, he called for strengthening the monitoring network in the

Tropics, Central Asia and the Polar regions. [The report] [UNEP

Press Release] [IPCC-29]