skip to primary navigation skip to content

The Scott Polar Research Institute and the Times World Atlas (13th ed.) Map of Greenland

The Scott Polar Research Institute and the Times World Atlas (13th ed.) Map of Greenland

Greenland Ice SheetIn September 2011, scientists at SPRI were closely involved (along with international colleagues) in countering claims about the scale of changes to the area of the Greenland Ice Sheet made by HarperCollins in their press release accompanying the launch of the 13th edition of the Times World Atlas. Glaciologists around the world were quick to point out that the claims were incorrect and misleading. Following the controversy around these claims, HarperCollins conceded that their statements of a ~15% reduction in ice cover were incorrect, and they decided to issue a new map to clarify the ice extent of Greenland.

SPRI scientists have been involved in discussions with HarperCollins during the production and review of a new insert to the Atlas, made public on 25th January 2012. We are pleased to have been able to contribute positively to this process, and that the end result of this controversy has been ultimately productive, leading to the publication by HarperCollins of a much improved map of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Historical links regarding the SPRI response to the Times Atlas Greenland map, and to Press Releases by Harper Collins:

Some contextual information regarding the state of scientific knowledge about the Greenland Ice Sheet:

A Journal paper about the Times Atlas affair:

A paper describing the Times Atlas affair has been authored by a number of scientists (including from SPRI) involved in correcting the claims made by HarperCollins, and is available from the open access journal The Cryosphere:

Statement by Harper Collins on release of new Greenland Atlas Insert map, 25 January 2012: