Author: Charles Fierz
Status of the mountain snow cover
This Joint-Body is a collaboration between IACS, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), and the WMO Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW), and counts with the support and participation from these institutions and their networks to realize the tasks under the respective Work Packages (WPs)
The proposal was prepared by a core team of scientists active in various fields of snow research, data and information. Participation in the joint body is open to everybody who is willing to actively contribute to one or several of the objectives listed in the proposal. Download the 2021 approved proposal here.
What are Joint Bodies?
In addition to Working Groups, Standing Groups and Joint Commissions, IACS may also support other types of activities that are joint with IUGG bodies or any other relevant organization or organizations. Joint Bodies are led by co-chairs from each organisation involved and aim to foster collaboration and coordination on topics of overlapping interests. See the Terms of Reference (ToR) for further information.
History of snow classification
All reports published by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) as well as reports back to 1895 can be found here. Those references are thus not included in the list on the left.
If a reference on the left contains ‘IAHS Publ. No.’, click on the link and enter the volume number in the field IAHS Publication No. Clicking further on the “+” next to the volume gives access to its description and content.
WMO Guide to Instruments and Methods of Observations (GIMO)
Volume II “Measurement of Cryospheric Variables” of the Guide on Instruments and Methods of Observation (GIMO) is a contribution of Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) to ensure high quality and consistent observations and measurements of cryospheric variables made in accordance with accepted standards. Emphasis is put on establishing standards in agreement with the existing ones as well as with guidelines for observations of single cryospheric variables, some of which are routinely used. IACS members contribute substantially to this volume.
Chapter II of Volume II is dedicated to the measurement of snow. The chapter is based on the ICSSG and should be looked at as a regular update to the classification.
Division VI Working Groups
There are currently no active Working Groups
Past Working Groups:
Flow law for polycrystalline ice
2010 – 2014
In 1990, a Working Group of the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) led by Sam Colbeck presented a full revision of the 1954 snow classification. It was based on a more physical view of snow metamorphism as pioneered by Sommerfeld and LaChapelle in 1970 (Journal of Glaciology, 9(55), pp. 3-18). Nevertheless, the Working Group stuck to the spirit of the former classifications.
A contribution to the International Hydrological Decade
In 1970, UNESCO, the International Association of Scientific Hydrology (IASH), and WMO published this update and extension of the 1954 classification. The International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) tasked Marcel de Quervain, one of the driving force behind the former classification, with this revision.