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Atlas Wildly Exaggerates Greenland Ice Loss

A random act of actual journalism from Reuters:

World Atlas ice loss claim exaggerated: scientists

By Nina Chestney
Mon Sep 19, 2011

LONDON (Reuters) – The Times Atlas of the World exaggerated the rate of Greenland’s ice loss in its thirteenth edition last week, scientists said on Monday.

The atlas, published by HarperCollins, showed that Greenland lost 15 percent of its ice cover over the past 12 years, based on information from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado in the United States.

The Greenland ice sheet is the second biggest in the world and significant shrinking could lead to a global rise in sea levels.

Which, by the way, has not happened.

"While global warming has played a role in this reduction, it is also as a result of the much more accurate data and in-depth research that is now available," HarperCollins said on its website on Monday.

However, a number of scientists disputed the claim.

"We believe that the figure of a 15 percent decrease in permanent ice cover since the publication of the previous atlas 12 years (ago) is both incorrect and misleading," said Poul [sic] Christoffersen, glaciologist at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) at the University of Cambridge.

"We concluded that a sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is clearly still ice-covered."

Other scientists agreed.

Either there is ice in the area or there isn’t.

"These new maps are ridiculously off base, way exaggerated relative to the reality of rapid change in Greenland," said Jeffrey S. Kargel, senior research scientist at the University of Arizona.

The Times Atlas suggested the Greenland ice sheet has lost 300,000 square kilometers in the past 12 years, at a rate of 1.5 percent per year.

However, measurements suggest this rate is at least 10 times faster than in reality, added J. Graham Cogley, Professor of Geography at Trent University, Ontario, Canada.

"It could easily be 20 times too fast and might well be 50 times too fast," he added.

Pickers of nit. No grant money for you.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Atlas Wildly Exaggerates Greenland Ice Loss”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    It’s just sad to see the dismal and creepy state of “publishing” these days.

    Editors who can’t edit. Fact Checkers who can’t count to five on one hand. Photo editors who don’t know a ‘shop from a crop.


  2. Right of the People says:

    If all of that ice melted, where did it go? Hmmmmm?

    They must really think we’re all rubes. Even a person of limited intelligence knows that noting just disappears. Ice if it melts becomes water and if 300,000 square kilometers of ice melted, and they don’t even state how thick it is supposed to be but for the sake of argument let’s say it was 10 centimeters thick (keeping with their metric BS) that would be 3,000,000,000 cubic centimeters of ice or if it melts water because the volume stays the same.

    I’m not enough of a scientist to determine how many gallons of water that is but it’s got to be a lot. Where did it go? I think we would have noticed like the sea levels rising but that hasn’t happened. Like they say on the Mythbusters program; BUSTED!

    • BigOil says:

      Since they are not tracking the total volume of ice on Greenland, their claim of a 15% reduction in coverage is irrelevant. An accurate tracking of ice volume would be a monumental undertaking…as well as a monumental waste of time. Therefore, it sounds like the perfect job for the federal government. They should get the NASA right on it.

      By the way, the ice thickness would have to be much greater than 10 centimeters to matter. At 10 centimeters thickness, that would equate to about 8 trillion gallons of water, which is a proverbial drop in the ocean.

  3. untrainable says:

    Do you know why it’s called Greenland? BECAUSE IT USED TO BE GREEN-LAND!! So what’s the big friggin’ deal.

  4. proreason says:

    It’s ok.

    They mean well.

    And truth is a variable, after all.

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