Brief communication: Greenland's shrinking ice cover: "Fast times" but not that fast

J. S. Kargel, A. P. Ahlstrøm, R. B. Alley, J. L. Bamber, T. J. Benham, J. E. Box, C. Chen, P. Christoffersen, M. Citterio, J. G. Cogley, H. Jiskoot, G. J. Leonard, P. Morin, T. Scambos, T. Sheldon, I. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-537
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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