Source: ITN
Date: 15/09/2011
EventNews item on ITN featuring the Times Atlas and Sir Brian Hoskins

  • Sir Brian Hoskins: The head of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change
  • Jethro Lennox: Senior Publishing Editor, Collins Geo

Newsreader: You might think an atlas is one of those books that does[n't] need updating much. The Earth was formed a long time ago, after all. True, there are the occasional new countries, such as Kosovo and South Sudan. But outside that... Well, the new edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World turns out to show an inconvenient truth, highlighting just how much global warming is changing the face of our planet. Jethro Lennox, from publishers Collins Bartholomew.

Jethro Lennox: We're seeing an increasing amount of physical changes around the world. So you've got things like the sea ice extent - we've mapped the extent of that. The Greenland ice cap - we've seen a drastic reduction of about 15%. We're also showing the former coastlines of the Aral Sea and Lake Chad.

Newsreader: Professor Sir Brian Hoskins is director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London. He thinks it's a useful tool against climate change sceptics. 

Sir Brian Hoskins: Scientists like me will talk about the, sort of, gradual melting of the ice sheet. But then, if you take a snapshot every now and then, you suddenly see a bit of Greenland has gone green. Then that makes you realise: yes - something is happening, in the frozen north - it's not quite as frozen as it used to be.

Newsreader: The Atlas, which contains 220,000 place names, only appears every four years. With a price tag of £150 and weighing in at 5 and a half kilos, it may be a luxury, but it's also a glowing tribute to the planet we call home.