Glaciers, which are sensitive indicators of climate warming, are generally thinning and retreating at an accelerated rate. Glacier melting has wide-ranging consequences such as sea-level rise, regional water cycle, and water availability. Studies of ice volume change, which is a significant part of glacier studies, are increasingly concerned by more researchers. In this article,volume changes of ice caps and mountain glaciers were discussed. Based on this, study methods of glacier volume or ice thickness change were highlighted. In general, there are four methods of investigating glacier volume change. It has improved from traditional ground-based techniques, empirical equation of glacier area and volume, glacier topographic survey to remote sensing monitoring. Due to its novel, rapid and relatively inexpensive techniques, glacier monitoring using remote sensing technique could effectively solve the limited data of remote location in alpine regions. Remote sensing, GIS and GPS technologies will continue to play a significant role in the estimation of volume or ice thickness of mountain glaciers and ice caps.