A fantastic fight recently broke out between the publishers of the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World and climate scientists worldwide when the most recent publication of the atlas depicted that 15% of Greenland’s ice sheet had melted between 1999 and 2010. That is enough melted ice to raise Earth’s sea levels three to five feet – an amount that scientists refute is not even close to the actual amount of ice loss (presently around one-tenth of one percent). In response, climate scientists joined ranks worldwide in an attempt to discredit the atlas’s projections — ones that scientists say the publishers never asked them about. The media the publisher has finally agreed to review the map, although even in the face of worldwide scorn they’re not willing to admit that the mistake was their fault in the first place.

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The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World was released on September 15th and within the press release discussing the atlas’s publication, the publisher mentioned the 15% statistic about Greenland’s ice sheet. In addition, in the map of Greenland the cartographers have actually erased much of the ice along Greenland’s coastline that is actually still there – if you happen to go look in person. Upon the release of the atlas and the subsequent horror within the scientific community, an unidentified spokesperson for Harper Collins — the publisher of the atlas — told the media “We are the best there is. We are confident of the data we have used and of the cartography.”

Harper Collins explained they had received their information directly from the U.S. Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado but the scientists at the center in Boulder say they never supplied that information, and the NSIDC says it’s just not real data. After looking into the issue the center believes the cartographers might have misread a piece of information that states that some of the ice in Greenland had decreased in thickness by 15%, not in mass. In the wake of continuing scorn, Harper Collins has rescinded their earlier sentiment and is now going to work with climate scientists on the issue of the Greenland map. The worldwide climate change community is relieved to see that unlike the disastrous Himalayan glacier issue that arose last year, this time they jumped on the misconception and prevented a possible firestorm that could have resulted from the misprint.

Via The New York Times