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Glacier Studies Project

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Dynamics Program

The Glacier Studies Project includes two active tasks: Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World Task and a Coastal-Change and Glaciological Maps of Antarctica Task. The two tasks are inter-discipline, inter-agency, and international in scope and institutional involvement. Glaciers are one of the four subelements of the cryosphere [the other three are snow cover, floating ice (sea, lake, and river ice), and permafrost]. The cryosphere is particularly sensitive to changes in regional and global climate. Changes in the volume of glacier ice on land produces changes in global (eustatic) sea level. Seasonal changes in sea ice and snow cover and decadal changes in glacier area can be monitored regionally and globally with image and other data from Earth-orbiting satellites. NASA (Goddard Space Flight Center), USGS (Woods Hole Science Center), and Icelandic National Energy Authority scientists are collaborating on satellite remote-sensing studies of glaciers. Information pertaining to the U.S. Geological Survey's Glacier Studies Project is presented, including links to relevant USGS and non-USGS publications. The Glacier Studies Project is funded by the U.S. Geological Survey's Global Change Science Program, a component of the 13 Federal interagency U.S. Climate Change Science Program of which the U.S. Department of the Interior is a member.