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‘Atlasgate’ deepens: NSIDC rejects being a specific source of The Times Atlas 15% Greenland ice loss claim

Watts Up With That? [1]
Sept 20, 2011

The Guardian has this article up today:


The claim was this:

“for the first time, the new edition of the (atlas) has had to erase 15% of Greenland’s once permanent ice cover – turning an area the size of the United Kingdom and Ireland ‘green’ and ice-free.”

“This is concrete evidence of how climate change is altering the face of the planet forever – and doing so at an alarming and accelerating rate.”

The Guardian article says [2] this about the recently released atlas [3]:

“But a spokeswoman for Times Atlas defended the 15% figure and the new map. “We are the best there is. We are confident of the data we have used and of the cartography. We use data supplied by the US Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.”

I wrote to NSIDC to confirm this, my regular contact Dr. Walt Meier was out of the office, but Dr. Julienne Stroeve responded with this statement:

Statement from NSIDC regarding the Times Atlas citing NSIDC as the source of its information on Greenland:

NSIDC has never released a specific number for Greenland ice loss over the
past decade. However, we archive and distribute several Greenland data sets
and imagery. While it is possible that the Times Atlas obtained data from
NSIDC, they may have made their own interpretation of the data, independent
of advice of NSIDC.

While mass loss in Greenland is significant, and accelerating, the loss of
ice from Greenland is far less than the Times Atlas indicates. People
interested in this topic should refer to the peer-reviewed literature for
the latest published studies estimating ice loss in Greenland.
For further information or questions, contact NSIDC at 303-492-1497 or
nsidc@nsidc.org [4].


NSIDC joins the reports on WUWT of the  Scott Polar Research Institute [5] and the Danish Meteorological Institute [6] in distancing their organizations from the 15% claim.