Greenland map captures changing Arctic in fine detail

Greenland map captures changing Arctic in fine detail

From BBC

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It’s warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

The seasonal sea-ice is in long-term decline and the ice sheet that sits atop Greenland is losing mass at a rate of about 280 billion tonnes a year.

So, if you choose to make a map of the region, you start from the recognition that what you’re producing can only be a snapshot that will need to be updated in the relatively near future.

Laura Gerrish, a geographical information systems and mapping specialist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), knows this. Polar science and polar cartography are all about tracing change.

Laura has just finished making a exquisite new printed sheet map (1:4,000,000) of Greenland.

The detail is a delight – from the winding path of all the fjords and inlets, to the precise positioning of current ice margins, and the use of all those tongue-twisting Greenlandic names.

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It’s warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.“The map is a little unusual because the area has not been shown on one sheet like this before,” explains Laura.

“We have good maps, obviously, of Europe, of Iceland, of Svalbard – but there is nothing that puts them all together on one sheet and shows their relationship like this.

“The map is aimed at scientists, clearly; BAS is a scientific organisation. But we hope tourists on cruise ships and any visitors to Greenland will find it useful, as well as schools or anyone with an interest in the Arctic.”

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Greenland And The European Arctic, to give the map its full title, has taken nearly two years to put together.

Laura has had to call on more than a

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