The Italian Glaciological Committee (CGI) has been working in Italy since 1895, with the task to promote and to coordinate research in the field of glaciology. Originally the CGI was a commission for the study of Italian glaciers within the Italian Alpine Club (CAI). Since 1915, it became independent organism with the support of the National Research Council (CNR) and of other organizations and agencies interested in glaciological research. Glacier monitoring. Glaciers are extraordinary natural archives of the climate history. In addition to being a strategic resource of fresh water usable for agricultural, civil, and industrial purposes, glaciers are valuable climate proxy, very sensitive to climatic and environmental changes, as they react to external forcing by changing shape and size. Alpine glaciers, in particular, being made up almost entirely of ice at a temperature close to the melting point (temperate glaciers), are very sensitive sentinels of global changes. Since its origin, the CGI recognized the importance of systematic monitoring of Italian glaciers and, in particular, of measurement of frontal variations. Every year, at the end of the ablation season, the glaciological survey is carried out on selected Italian glaciers: measures and photographs from fixed points, observations of the snow cover and of the front morphology are also taken. This activity is regularly conducted since the end of the 19th Century and has never been interrupted since 1911, except during war periods, supplying therefore one of the longest series of observations of the glacial front variations in the world. The annual glaciological surveys allowed acquiring a large amount of data and a precious photographic documentation. A new database for reconstructing the spatial-temporal evolution of the glacial resource in the Italian Alps over the last 100 years An updated picture of the glacial resource in the Italian Alps is being realized through the acquisition of the most up to date available information on glaciers, including location, main geometric and morphologic parameters, also for their use in numerical simulations, and taking into account the existing international standards. The project focuses on the collection, validation, storage and analysis of glaciological data from the Italian Alps, referred to the last 100 years. A dedicated system will be realized for the management of these data, in line with the requirements of NextData Portal, and in agreement with the GeoNetwork architecture like that of the SHARE Project. The project also aims to update and make easily available to the scientific community and to the stakeholders multitemporal data on the Italian glacial resource, through an integrated information management system made for this purpose. The system will represent a validated and reliable information base for quantitative modeling of glaciers response to climatic forcing. It will be a valuable tool for further research projects on glacial/periglacial environments. The promotion of a free, distributed use of information on Italian glaciers, to be implemented within the NextData project, but also updatable in the future, is a specific responsibility of the Italian Glaciological Committee. This database will represent a breakthrough in the availability of glaciological data from the Italian Alps and will also satisfy the rising demand of open source availability of environmental data in the mountain regions.
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