Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
The Cryosphere, 6, 533-537, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Brief communication
04 May 2012
Brief communication
Greenland's shrinking ice cover: "fast times" but not that fast
J. S. Kargel1, A. P. Ahlstrøm2, R. B. Alley3, J. L. Bamber4, T. J. Benham5, J. E. Box6, C. Chen6, P. Christoffersen5, M. Citterio2, J. G. Cogley7, H. Jiskoot8, G. J. Leonard1, P. Morin9, T. Scambos10, T. Sheldon11, and I. Willis5 1Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
2Department of Marine Geology and Glaciology, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark
3Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
4Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
5Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
6Byrd Polar Research Center and Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA
7Department of Geography, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada
8Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada
9Polar Geospatial Center, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
10National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
11Science Media Centre, London, UK
Abstract. A map of Greenland in the 13th edition (2011) of the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World made headlines because the publisher's media release mistakenly stated that the permanent ice cover had shrunk 15% since the previous 10th edition (1999) revision. The claimed shrinkage was immediately challenged by glaciologists, then retracted by the publisher. Here we show: (1) accurate maps of ice extent based on 1978/87 aerial surveys and recent MODIS imagery; and (2) shrinkage at 0.019% a−1 in ~50 000 km2 of ice in a part of east Greenland that is shown as ice-free in the Times Atlas.

Citation: Kargel, J. S., Ahlstrøm, A. P., Alley, R. B., Bamber, J. L., Benham, T. J., Box, J. E., Chen, C., Christoffersen, P., Citterio, M., Cogley, J. G., Jiskoot, H., Leonard, G. J., Morin, P., Scambos, T., Sheldon, T., and Willis, I.: Brief communication
Greenland's shrinking ice cover: "fast times" but not that fast, The Cryosphere, 6, 533-537,, 2012.
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