Slowly, the mainstream media is coming around to cease enabling denialism of climate change and anthropogenic global warming. An initial watermark was the revelation last year that Exxon Mobil had spent decades hiding research results and giving millions to entities that worked to seed doubt. A more recent watermark is found by simply looking at the Arctic sea ice decline. We reasonably assess polar sea ice decline in three ways: areal extent of the ice, thickness of the ice, and age-distribution of the ice. The latter two parameters are of course closely related.
Here are two graphics depicting the extraordinarily rapid destruction of the Arctic ice that has existed throughout human history, providing a stabilizing base for our weather patterns. The embedded video shows a time-lapse simulation of daily Arctic sea ice extent from September 2015 onward. The JPEG below compiles four images, at 8-year intervals from 1990 to 2014, showing the near-disappearance of all ice more than 2-years old.
Aviation, especially by residents of the most ‘advanced’ economies, makes a substantial contribution to this sea ice decline, both in generated greenhouse gasses and in dark soot that accumulates on the ice and then accelerates summer melting.
Research suggests that our continued excessive fossil fuel consumption is the root cause of this rapid polar ice decline and related phenomena of global warming, weather intensification, and regional instabilities. Further, that if trends continue, we will soon be urgently seeking ways to stop generating greenhouse gasses such as CO2. This distills down to a problem of hyper-consumption, and in solving the problem one of the easiest targets is aviation. So, perhaps in the next few years we might see a stiff carbon tax on all aviation fuels, to discourage excessive flying in all forms: commercial airline passengers, subsidized bizjets (for business, as well as for golf junkets), and even small plane recreational flying.
- 2/21/2016 – What Happens if Arctic Ice Seasonally Disappears?
- 2/9/2016 – ICAO Announces New CO2 Rules … Their Proposal is All Hype & Offers Little Meaningful Progress
- 7/24/2015 – Arctic Ice Melt on a Tear in Recent Weeks
- 12/9/2014 – Oceans Will Rise more Quickly as Antarctic Ice Melt Accelerates
- 10/9/2012 – Is Arctic ice melting faster than expected?