Nonprofit Organization (NPO)
"Glacier and Cryospheric Environment Research Laboratory"

Founded, December 2005

Outline of NPO Glacier


This nonprofit organization promotes educational activities for people in Japan to learn about glaciers, polar ice sheets, and other cold environments, and how these environments may be altered by global climate change.


  • Circulation of information & news through the Internet and other media.
  • Lectures, seminars, forums, symposiums, and field excursions.
  • Field researches, data analyses, and publications.

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The importance of glaciers

In many regions in the world, particularly of semi-arid or arid climates, melt water from snow and glaciers in the surrounding mountainous regions is important for agriculture, dairying, industry, and other aspects of human life. In years of high winter precipitation and cool summer temperatures, the increased amount of snow and ice increases the size of the glacier, whereas in years of low winter precipitation and warm summer temperatures, more of the glacier ice melts, thus decreasing the glacier size. In this sense, glaciers are an important, always changing, natural water reservoir.

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Relation to global climate change

Global mean air temperature has risen by about 0.74 deg.C during the last 100 years from 1906 to 2005 (IPCC, 2007). Moreover, the rate of warming is expected to increase throughout the 21st century, with the best estimated 1.8 to 4.0 deg.C rise in temperature for 100 years (IPCC, 2007). In response to this global climate change, mountain glaciers, polar ice sheets, and the snow cover in many cold areas have been changing drastically. The global sea level is estimated to rise by about 0.5 meters during this century, a half of which is considered as due to melting of mountain glaciers and the arctic ice caps (an additional half of the rise will be due to thermal expansion of the ocean). A significant fraction of the sea-level rise is attributed to the recessions of small glaciers and ice caps, despite the fact that their total areas and volumes are considerably less than those of the massive Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

Whereas, changes in the extent and mass of terrestrial snow and ice should sensitively affect cryospheric environments, ecosystems, and water resources. Furthermore, since the earth climate system is managed on the basis of delicate balances of numerous meteorological parameters, a slight anthropologic disturbance may possibly induce abnormal, violent, intensive or severe weathers, locally or occasionally.

For these reasons, we aim to keep people up-to-date on matters concerning glaciers, polar ice sheets, and other cold environments.

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Location: Joetsu-city, Niigata, Japan

Steering Committee

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Ordinary members (December 2018)

T. Aoki (Kanazawa), M. Aniya (Tsukuba), G. Casassa (Chile),
H. Enomoto (Tokyo), F. Escobar (Santiago, Chile), H. Fukami (Sapporo),
J. O. Hagen (Oslo, Norway), Y.Hamatani (Tottori), T. Ichitani (Tottori),
H. Iida (Tateyama), Y. Iizuka (Sapporo), E. Isenko (Sapporo),
T. Kameda (Kitami), S. Kanamori (Hakodate), K. Konya (Zushi),
T. Matsumoto (Niigata), K. Matsuoka (Tromso, Norway), J. Mori (Tama),
H. Motoyama (Tokyo), N. Nagatsuka (Tokyo), N. Naito (Hiroshima),
R. Naruse (Tottori), V. Popovnin (Moscow, Russia), A. Sakai (Nagoya),
T. Sawagaki (Musashino), T. Shiraiwa (Sapporo), P. Skvarca (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
T. Sone (Sapporo), S. Sugiyama (Sapporo), S. Suizu (Fuchu),
N. Takeuchi (Chiba), Y. Takeuchi (Tokamachi), T. Tanaka (Tottori),
H. Yabuki (Yokohama), S. Yamaguchi (Nagaoka), T. Yamamoto (Sapporo),
K. Yokoyama (Joetsu).

[37 members in total]

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