Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

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Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Poul Christoffersen
Dear all,

A number of people have asked me to circulate the letter we sent to The Times yesterday. Apologies to those who are not interested.

The letter is pasted into the e-mail below and a figure is attached. The figure (tiff) shows the error in the new Times map of Greenland when compared to MODIS imagery from august 2011. It looks like the cartographers defined the ice sheet margin at the 500 m contour.  

I am not sure whether the attachment will come through this e-mail. If not, please send me an e-mail and I'll forward it that way.

Please

Poul Christoffersen
Scott Polar Research Institute

********************************
Dear Sir, 

A media release accompanying the publication of the 13th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World states that the Atlas is ‘turning Greenland ‘green’’. We are extremely puzzled by this statement and the claim that ‘For the first time, the new edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 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’. We write to point out that a 15% decrease in permanent ice cover since the publication of the previous atlas 12 years is both incorrect and misleading.

Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new lands.  Furthermore, the low-lying fringe of the main ice sheet appears to be shown as land, not ice. 

A sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is clearly still ice-covered. We do not know why this error has occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around the world. There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in the published scientific literature.

We do not disagree with the statement that climate is changing and that the Greenland Ice Sheet is affected by this. It is, however, crucial to report climate change and its impact accurately and to back bold statements with concrete and correct evidence. The volume of ice contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet is approximately 2.9 million cubic kilometers and the current rate whereby ice is lost is roughly 200 cubic kilometers per year. This is on the order of 0.1% by volume over 12 years. Numerous glaciers have retreated over the last decade, capturing the attention of scientists, policymakers and the general public. Because of this retreat, many glaciers are now flowing faster and terrain previously ice-covered is emerging along the coast - but not at the rate suggested in The Times media release.

 

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Poul Christoffersen

Prof. Julian Dowdeswell (Director)

Mr. Toby Benham

Prof. Elizabeth M Morris

Dr. Ruth Mugford

Dr. Steven Palmer

Dr. Ian Willis

(Scott Polar Research Institute)

Next page: Map of Greenland from the new Times Atlas vs. satellite imagery from 2011.


****************************


On 16 Sep 2011, at 21:23, Wal, R.S.W. van de (roderik) wrote:

Dear Poul,

The letter from Liz et al. to the times on the 15% error did not get through via cryolist at least not with me, can you forward it, or distribute it via cryolist so that we can see whether we can use the arguments in the dutch media as well. They use the somewhat modest Reuters news link...

regards,

Roderik


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Re: Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Jeffrey Kargel
Poul, Liz, and Cryolist: Great letter; now keep pushing. This cartographic fiasco and sad journalistic event is a dark cloud made a little smaller, but there is the silver lining: everybody with striking results, especially new results, should push it to the media and use the Scott Polar letter as a hook.  Greenland itself is beautiful, the data are exquisite, the science is sound, the changes are profound, the meaning of it is important to people; and honest journalists-- by far most of those who would be inclined to report on the "15% mistake"-- will be wanting answers to the question of what IS happening. You Greenland Cryolisters have the answers.  Even older results showing increased melting and changes in ice thickness/elevation and all that is helpful to produce a package of what is happening to Greenland. 

Greenland Cryolisters, don't even wait for journalists to contact you.  The story is hot now. It will be refreezing a week from now.  You guys and gals need to now just show why the Atlas is wrong, but show what's happening in reality.

A small number of google hits on the story:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/9/17/glaciologists-condemn-guardian-misinformation.html
You'll see one comment posted by somebody who claims to have written the climate change section of the Atlas, and he didn't mention 15%. If that's true, then the 15% was some kind of value-added little gift to fiction. The brown remains a mystery, which only the cartographer can solve, but what I'm seeing strongly supports Graham Cogley's hypothesis that "the cartographer just couldn't be bothered by all the crinkly little bits of Greenland." Clearly, where nunataks start and the ice darkens (snow melts off) and the outlet glaciers take over from the main ice cap, those parts are turned brown. Perhaps the cartographer used MODIS data and thought the area with nunataks was thinly snow dusted. I appreciate caution about interopreting snow as ice, but it goes the other way too.  People have to get it right, and this was very wrong and easy discern as such. So three mistakes happened: (1) the cartographer messed up, and would not have had he or she consulted glaciologists. (2) The management and marketers at the Times messed up, and would not have had they consulted glaciologists. And (3) The news writers starting with the Guardian and so many more messed up by committing blindly to what the Times said, and they would not have erred if they had passed it by glaciologists for comment. Almost anyone of us would have caught this error in 30 seconds or less and spent 5 minutes explaining it.  The cartographer would have had to go back to the mapping room, that's all.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/09/greenland-ice-sheet-loss-shows.html
seems to end with my posted comment

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/17/complaints-over-false-info-in-new-times-world-atlas-grow/
Welcome photo of Greenland and some actual comments by scientists about Greenland.

http://www.real-science.com/uncategorized/times-atlas-plain-incompetent
effective

http://www.real-science.com/uncategorized/times-incoherent-atlas-world

Fallen into the pit:
http://www.onearth.org/blog/times-atlas-maps-climate-change
http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/09/incredible-shrinking-greenland
http://www.independent.ie/and-finally/atlas-shows-warming-of-the-earth-2877192.html




--Jeff  


From: [hidden email]
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 10:11:37 +0100
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Dear all,

A number of people have asked me to circulate the letter we sent to The Times yesterday. Apologies to those who are not interested.

The letter is pasted into the e-mail below and a figure is attached. The figure (tiff) shows the error in the new Times map of Greenland when compared to MODIS imagery from august 2011. It looks like the cartographers defined the ice sheet margin at the 500 m contour.  

I am not sure whether the attachment will come through this e-mail. If not, please send me an e-mail and I'll forward it that way.

Please

Poul Christoffersen
Scott Polar Research Institute

********************************
Dear Sir, 

A media release accompanying the publication of the 13th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World states that the Atlas is ‘turning Greenland ‘green’’. We are extremely puzzled by this statement and the claim that ‘For the first time, the new edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 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’. We write to point out that a 15% decrease in permanent ice cover since the publication of the previous atlas 12 years is both incorrect and misleading.

Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new lands.  Furthermore, the low-lying fringe of the main ice sheet appears to be shown as land, not ice. 

A sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is clearly still ice-covered. We do not know why this error has occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around the world. There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in the published scientific literature.

We do not disagree with the statement that climate is changing and that the Greenland Ice Sheet is affected by this. It is, however, crucial to report climate change and its impact accurately and to back bold statements with concrete and correct evidence. The volume of ice contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet is approximately 2.9 million cubic kilometers and the current rate whereby ice is lost is roughly 200 cubic kilometers per year. This is on the order of 0.1% by volume over 12 years. Numerous glaciers have retreated over the last decade, capturing the attention of scientists, policymakers and the general public. Because of this retreat, many glaciers are now flowing faster and terrain previously ice-covered is emerging along the coast - but not at the rate suggested in The Times media release.

 

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Poul Christoffersen

Prof. Julian Dowdeswell (Director)

Mr. Toby Benham

Prof. Elizabeth M Morris

Dr. Ruth Mugford

Dr. Steven Palmer

Dr. Ian Willis

(Scott Polar Research Institute)

Next page: Map of Greenland from the new Times Atlas vs. satellite imagery from 2011.


****************************


On 16 Sep 2011, at 21:23, Wal, R.S.W. van de (roderik) wrote:

Dear Poul,

The letter from Liz et al. to the times on the 15% error did not get through via cryolist at least not with me, can you forward it, or distribute it via cryolist so that we can see whether we can use the arguments in the dutch media as well. They use the somewhat modest Reuters news link...

regards,

Roderik


_______________________________________________ You're subscribed to the CRYOLIST mailing list To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/ To send a message to the list, email [hidden email]

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Re: Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

cpetrich
In reply to this post by Poul Christoffersen
Thanks, Poul.

this makes me wonder about the Times map of 1999, though. Doesn't  
MODIS of 2000 look like 2011? Scenes of days 182 and 183 attached.
cheers

Chris


Quoting Poul Christoffersen <[hidden email]>:

> Dear all,
>
> A number of people have asked me to circulate the letter we sent to  
> The Times yesterday. Apologies to those who are not interested.
>
> The letter is pasted into the e-mail below and a figure is attached.  
> The figure (tiff) shows the error in the new Times map of Greenland  
> when compared to MODIS imagery from august 2011. It looks like the  
> cartographers defined the ice sheet margin at the 500 m contour.
>
> I am not sure whether the attachment will come through this e-mail.  
> If not, please send me an e-mail and I'll forward it that way.
>
> Please
>
> Poul Christoffersen
> Scott Polar Research Institute
>
> ********************************
> Dear Sir,
> A media release accompanying the publication of the 13th edition of  
> The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World states that the Atlas is  
> ?turning Greenland ?green??. We are extremely puzzled by this  
> statement and the claim that ?For the first time, the new edition of  
> The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 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?. We write to  
> point out that a 15% decrease in permanent ice cover since the  
> publication of the previous atlas 12 years is both incorrect and  
> misleading.
>
> Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in  
> fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new  
> Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new  
> lands.  Furthermore, the low-lying fringe of the main ice sheet  
> appears to be shown as land, not ice.
>
> A sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is  
> clearly still ice-covered. We do not know why this error has  
> occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction  
> in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around  
> the world. There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in  
> the published scientific literature.
>
> We do not disagree with the statement that climate is changing and  
> that the Greenland Ice Sheet is affected by this. It is, however,  
> crucial to report climate change and its impact accurately and to  
> back bold statements with concrete and correct evidence. The volume  
> of ice contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet is approximately 2.9  
> million cubic kilometers and the current rate whereby ice is lost is  
> roughly 200 cubic kilometers per year. This is on the order of 0.1%  
> by volume over 12 years. Numerous glaciers have retreated over the  
> last decade, capturing the attention of scientists, policymakers and  
> the general public. Because of this retreat, many glaciers are now  
> flowing faster and terrain previously ice-covered is emerging along  
> the coast - but not at the rate suggested in The Times media release.
>
>
>
> Yours faithfully,
>
> Dr. Poul Christoffersen
>
> Prof. Julian Dowdeswell (Director)
>
> Mr. Toby Benham
>
> Prof. Elizabeth M Morris
>
> Dr. Ruth Mugford
>
> Dr. Steven Palmer
>
> Dr. Ian Willis
>
> (Scott Polar Research Institute)
>
> Next page: Map of Greenland from the new Times Atlas vs. satellite  
> imagery from 2011.
>
>
> ****************************
>
>
>
> On 16 Sep 2011, at 21:23, Wal, R.S.W. van de (roderik) wrote:
>
>> Dear Poul,
>>
>> The letter from Liz et al. to the times on the 15% error did not  
>> get through via cryolist at least not with me, can you forward it,  
>> or distribute it via cryolist so that we can see whether we can use  
>> the arguments in the dutch media as well. They use the somewhat  
>> modest Reuters news link...
>>
>> regards,
>>
>> Roderik
>
>


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Re: Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Jiskoot, Hester
Re: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)
Chris/Poul/Cryolisters,
 
Well-worded responses in the media by colleagues in the UK to this issue so far. I suggest we take this discussion off the cryolist site, and avoid trying to do 'back of an envelope' science on a mail server, and clog this nice portal. 
 
The MODIS images and question/suggestion sent by Chris Petrich are very helpful as they indicate why we need glaciology specialists in the subdisciplines of glacier inventories/glacier mapping to interpret these types of data and do the science. The MODIS images from days 182 and 183 (1-2 July) are very early in the melt season in East Greenland. Glacier ice extent cannot be properly assessed unless you have a series of late melt season images (late-August to September in this region), or else seasonal snow will be misinterpreted as permanent snow/ice. Delineating alpine glacier extent is precision work and can neither be done using a one-day image, nor using coarse resolution images such as MODIS. Any other subdiscipline of glaciology will have the same rigour.
 
Glaciologists are still working on producing a reliable recent glacier extent and glacier inventory for entire East and North Greenland (building on GEUS glacier maps from the 1980s, Anker Weidick's extensive work, and local and regional efforts (e.g. GLIMS: my own group, and the Paul/Bolch ETH group), hence the non-science community (incl. Times Atlas) cannot have reliable source material yet. At least no source material that can be used to give a reliable estimate of glacier area loss for the entire region peripheral to the Greenland ice sheet. There are only a few subregions with reliable measurements, and all we can do is extrapolate from those regions. This is the case for many other regions worldwide as well (see e.g. Ohmura, 2009: Annals of Glaciology 50(53)). Now let's get to work on that.
 
 
Cheers, Hester
 
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Hester Jiskoot
Associate Professor
Department of Geography
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4
Canada
 
phone: +1-403-3292739
email: [hidden email]
office: AWESB WE-2050
web: http://people.uleth.ca/~hester.jiskoot
---------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
 

From: [hidden email] on behalf of [hidden email]
Sent: Sat 17/09/2011 10:17
To: Poul Christoffersen
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Thanks, Poul.

this makes me wonder about the Times map of 1999, though. Doesn't 
MODIS of 2000 look like 2011? Scenes of days 182 and 183 attached.
cheers

Chris


Quoting Poul Christoffersen <[hidden email]>:

> Dear all,
>
> A number of people have asked me to circulate the letter we sent to 
> The Times yesterday. Apologies to those who are not interested.
>
> The letter is pasted into the e-mail below and a figure is attached. 
> The figure (tiff) shows the error in the new Times map of Greenland 
> when compared to MODIS imagery from august 2011. It looks like the 
> cartographers defined the ice sheet margin at the 500 m contour.
>
> I am not sure whether the attachment will come through this e-mail. 
> If not, please send me an e-mail and I'll forward it that way.
>
> Please
>
> Poul Christoffersen
> Scott Polar Research Institute
>
> ********************************
> Dear Sir,
> A media release accompanying the publication of the 13th edition of 
> The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World states that the Atlas is 
> ?turning Greenland ?green??. We are extremely puzzled by this 
> statement and the claim that ?For the first time, the new edition of 
> The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 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?. We write to 
> point out that a 15% decrease in permanent ice cover since the 
> publication of the previous atlas 12 years is both incorrect and 
> misleading.
>
> Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in 
> fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new 
> Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new 
> lands.  Furthermore, the low-lying fringe of the main ice sheet 
> appears to be shown as land, not ice.
>
> A sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is 
> clearly still ice-covered. We do not know why this error has 
> occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction 
> in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around 
> the world. There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in 
> the published scientific literature.
>
> We do not disagree with the statement that climate is changing and 
> that the Greenland Ice Sheet is affected by this. It is, however, 
> crucial to report climate change and its impact accurately and to 
> back bold statements with concrete and correct evidence. The volume 
> of ice contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet is approximately 2.9 
> million cubic kilometers and the current rate whereby ice is lost is 
> roughly 200 cubic kilometers per year. This is on the order of 0.1% 
> by volume over 12 years. Numerous glaciers have retreated over the 
> last decade, capturing the attention of scientists, policymakers and 
> the general public. Because of this retreat, many glaciers are now 
> flowing faster and terrain previously ice-covered is emerging along 
> the coast - but not at the rate suggested in The Times media release.
>
>
>
> Yours faithfully,
>
> Dr. Poul Christoffersen
>
> Prof. Julian Dowdeswell (Director)
>
> Mr. Toby Benham
>
> Prof. Elizabeth M Morris
>
> Dr. Ruth Mugford
>
> Dr. Steven Palmer
>
> Dr. Ian Willis
>
> (Scott Polar Research Institute)
>
> Next page: Map of Greenland from the new Times Atlas vs. satellite 
> imagery from 2011.
>
>
> ****************************
>
>
>
> On 16 Sep 2011, at 21:23, Wal, R.S.W. van de (roderik) wrote:
>
>> Dear Poul,
>>
>> The letter from Liz et al. to the times on the 15% error did not 
>> get through via cryolist at least not with me, can you forward it, 
>> or distribute it via cryolist so that we can see whether we can use 
>> the arguments in the dutch media as well. They use the somewhat 
>> modest Reuters news link...
>>
>> regards,
>>
>> Roderik
>
>



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Re: Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Volker Rath
Dear Cryolisters,
   this does surely not clog this list. It's one of the most important things circulated lately. Being only at  the margin, I really would like if this kind of discussion occurred more often in this list. Thanks to the people who contributed which such detailed arguments, and I would also like to have more comments here - even if not well worded. A bit more science - not only position & meeting announcements - would do the list good.
Cheers,
Volker  

On 09/17/2011 09:18 PM, Jiskoot, Hester wrote:
Re: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)
Chris/Poul/Cryolisters,
 
Well-worded responses in the media by colleagues in the UK to this issue so far. I suggest we take this discussion off the cryolist site, and avoid trying to do 'back of an envelope' science on a mail server, and clog this nice portal. 
  

-- 
Volker Rath                             
PalMA Research Group                    
Dpt. of Earth Sciences,                 
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Faculty of Physical Sciences/Instituto de Geociencias (UCM-CSIC)
Universidad Complutense de Madrid       
Ciudad Universitaria 			  
28040, Madrid, Spain			
tel:  	+34  913944490        			
fax: 	+34  913944635				 
email: 	[hidden email]			
skype: 	volker_rath				
mobile 	+34 692864002				
web:	http://virga.fis.ucm.es/~volker		(temporary)

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Re: Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists at the Scott Polar Research Institute)

cpetrich
In reply to this post by Jiskoot, Hester
While I agree there is no need to drag this out, I feel compelled to  
leave a note in the archives of Cryolist.

There were two different thoughts circulating on Cryolist lately: one  
was how to avoid bogus news going viral, the other one was about what  
is actually happening in Greenland. In my previous post(s) I was  
addressing the former one. The thought was to take the Scott Polar  
visual one step further: if you arrange the Times Atlas graphics of  
1999, 2011, a MODIS composite of 2000 and a composite of 2011 in a  
square, you will probably be able to convince any newspaper  
editor/blogger that the Times press release should be viewed  
critically, irrespective of scientific inclination and busy schedule  
of the editor/blogger---A way to buy time to do the real work  
properly. Would the end justify the means? Maybe the same way as in  
primary education where it is more about getting the students to grasp  
a concept than about being comprehensive.

Regards,

Chris


--
Chris Petrich, PhD
Research Associate
Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks
903 Koyukuk Drive, PO Box 757320
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320
USA
email: [hidden email]
phone: +1 907 474 6832


Quoting "Jiskoot, Hester" <[hidden email]>:

> Chris/Poul/Cryolisters,
>
> Well-worded responses in the media by colleagues in the UK to this  
> issue so far. I suggest we take this discussion off the cryolist  
> site, and avoid trying to do 'back of an envelope' science on a mail  
> server, and clog this nice portal.
>
> The MODIS images and question/suggestion sent by Chris Petrich are  
> very helpful as they indicate why we need glaciology specialists in  
> the subdisciplines of glacier inventories/glacier mapping to  
> interpret these types of data and do the science. The MODIS images  
> from days 182 and 183 (1-2 July) are very early in the melt season  
> in East Greenland. Glacier ice extent cannot be properly assessed  
> unless you have a series of late melt season images (late-August to  
> September in this region), or else seasonal snow will be  
> misinterpreted as permanent snow/ice. Delineating alpine glacier  
> extent is precision work and can neither be done using a one-day  
> image, nor using coarse resolution images such as MODIS. Any other  
> subdiscipline of glaciology will have the same rigour.
>
> Glaciologists are still working on producing a reliable recent  
> glacier extent and glacier inventory for entire East and North  
> Greenland (building on GEUS glacier maps from the 1980s, Anker  
> Weidick's extensive work, and local and regional efforts (e.g.  
> GLIMS: my own group, and the Paul/Bolch ETH group), hence the  
> non-science community (incl. Times Atlas) cannot have reliable  
> source material yet. At least no source material that can be used to  
> give a reliable estimate of glacier area loss for the entire region  
> peripheral to the Greenland ice sheet. There are only a few  
> subregions with reliable measurements, and all we can do is  
> extrapolate from those regions. This is the case for many other  
> regions worldwide as well (see e.g. Ohmura, 2009: Annals of  
> Glaciology 50(53)). Now let's get to work on that.
>
>
> Cheers, Hester
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Dr. Hester Jiskoot
> Associate Professor
> Department of Geography
> University of Lethbridge
> Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4
> Canada
>
> phone: +1-403-3292739
> email: [hidden email]
> office: AWESB WE-2050
> web: http://people.uleth.ca/~hester.jiskoot
> ---------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: [hidden email] on behalf of [hidden email]
> Sent: Sat 17/09/2011 10:17
> To: Poul Christoffersen
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Letter to The Times (from glaciologists  
> at the Scott Polar Research Institute)
>
>
> Thanks, Poul.
>
> this makes me wonder about the Times map of 1999, though. Doesn't
> MODIS of 2000 look like 2011? Scenes of days 182 and 183 attached.
> cheers
>
> Chris
>
>
> Quoting Poul Christoffersen <[hidden email]>:
>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> A number of people have asked me to circulate the letter we sent to
>> The Times yesterday. Apologies to those who are not interested.
>>
>> The letter is pasted into the e-mail below and a figure is attached.
>> The figure (tiff) shows the error in the new Times map of Greenland
>> when compared to MODIS imagery from august 2011. It looks like the
>> cartographers defined the ice sheet margin at the 500 m contour.
>>
>> I am not sure whether the attachment will come through this e-mail.
>> If not, please send me an e-mail and I'll forward it that way.
>>
>> Please
>>
>> Poul Christoffersen
>> Scott Polar Research Institute
>>
>> ********************************
>> Dear Sir,
>> A media release accompanying the publication of the 13th edition of
>> The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World states that the Atlas is
>> ?turning Greenland ?green??. We are extremely puzzled by this
>> statement and the claim that ?For the first time, the new edition of
>> The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 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?. We write to
>> point out that a 15% decrease in permanent ice cover since the
>> publication of the previous atlas 12 years is both incorrect and
>> misleading.
>>
>> Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in
>> fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new
>> Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new
>> lands.  Furthermore, the low-lying fringe of the main ice sheet
>> appears to be shown as land, not ice.
>>
>> A sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is
>> clearly still ice-covered. We do not know why this error has
>> occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction
>> in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around
>> the world. There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in
>> the published scientific literature.
>>
>> We do not disagree with the statement that climate is changing and
>> that the Greenland Ice Sheet is affected by this. It is, however,
>> crucial to report climate change and its impact accurately and to
>> back bold statements with concrete and correct evidence. The volume
>> of ice contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet is approximately 2.9
>> million cubic kilometers and the current rate whereby ice is lost is
>> roughly 200 cubic kilometers per year. This is on the order of 0.1%
>> by volume over 12 years. Numerous glaciers have retreated over the
>> last decade, capturing the attention of scientists, policymakers and
>> the general public. Because of this retreat, many glaciers are now
>> flowing faster and terrain previously ice-covered is emerging along
>> the coast - but not at the rate suggested in The Times media release.
>>
>>
>>
>> Yours faithfully,
>>
>> Dr. Poul Christoffersen
>>
>> Prof. Julian Dowdeswell (Director)
>>
>> Mr. Toby Benham
>>
>> Prof. Elizabeth M Morris
>>
>> Dr. Ruth Mugford
>>
>> Dr. Steven Palmer
>>
>> Dr. Ian Willis
>>
>> (Scott Polar Research Institute)
>>
>> Next page: Map of Greenland from the new Times Atlas vs. satellite
>> imagery from 2011.
>>
>>
>> ****************************
>>
>>
>>
>> On 16 Sep 2011, at 21:23, Wal, R.S.W. van de (roderik) wrote:
>>
>>> Dear Poul,
>>>
>>> The letter from Liz et al. to the times on the 15% error did not
>>> get through via cryolist at least not with me, can you forward it,
>>> or distribute it via cryolist so that we can see whether we can use
>>> the arguments in the dutch media as well. They use the somewhat
>>> modest Reuters news link...
>>>
>>> regards,
>>>
>>> Roderik
>>
>>
>
>
>
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