44-Years and Counting: FAA’s Gross Failure of the ‘Noise Control Act of 1972’

Check out the recent thought-provoking Posts by attorney Stephen Taber, blogged at Aviation and Airport Development News. Mr. Taber is a former FAA attorney who has been blogging since at least 2007. A closer look at his blog suggests he is a rare combination: an aviation lawyer who actually cares! Is it possible, that he cares about things that really matter these days …

  1. …the protection of the environment, and…
  2. …the empowerment of people so they are meaningfully engaged in making airport decisions?

I hope so. And, thanks for your web work, Mr. Taber!

(click on image to view latest Posts at 'Aviation & Airport Development News')

(click on image to view latest Posts at ‘Aviation & Airport Development News’)

Taber Law Group has been added as an aiREFORM link, in the category ‘Links – Environment/Aviation’. See the link list on the left margin of aiREFORM webpages.

Rapid Ice Loss in the Arctic Region

Sea ice is melting in the Arctic at near record rates. The chart below shows the area of Arctic Ocean covered with at least 15% sea ice. The wide grayish-blue band area shows a statistical average for the period 1981-2010. The solid line in the mid-range of this band is the yearly average for this thirty-year time period. Note that average sea ice area peaks in March each year, at around 15 million square kilometers; also, sea ice area declines to a minimum in late September each year, averaging around 6 million square kilometers.

The largest recorded melt in human history occurred in 2012, when the decline plummeted to around 3.5 million square kilometers. This is depicted by the dashed line.

And how are we doing this year? Look closely at the orange ellipse below. At its center, the gray line marks sea ice conditions for 2014 and is updated each day. Note the steepening line, indicative of a very high rate of melting. There are many variables in weather, but this year’s record-high temperature levels in northern hemisphere oceans, and the intensified flow of weather systems north to the pole area, will tend to further accelerate rates of polar warming. This means faster polar ice melting.

There is a high probability that 2014 will shatter the 2012 record with a new record low in Arctic sea ice extent. Sometime around September 20th, the results will be in. How low will we go … 2.5 million square kilometers?20140630.. Charctic Sea Ice Graph, steep decline

If you want to track this melting process, the graph is revised daily and viewable online at: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

Also, the chart is interactive, so you can select other years for comparison. The other years showing the most extreme melt rates are 2007, 2010, and 2011.

Weather-Curious? Check out RobertScribbler.wordpress.com

Just for a minute, suppose the climate-change deniers are right. Well, then a few of us are wrong, and that would include me. But, maybe this is a lot more important than who is right and who is wrong. And, maybe right or wrong is irrelevant anyway, because nobody is arguing against the fact that we are seeing some interesting, pronounced, and potentially scary changes. These impact our weather patterns, our climate, and the healthy environment we need for food and water (plus a few other benefits). Some of us attribute these changes to hydrocarbon hyperconsumption, but so what; frankly, at this point, the effect is far more important than the cause.

One website I ran into just a couple months ago is Robertscribbler.wordpress.com. It is, by far, the most interesting source for weather charts, satellite imagery, and other graphics, combined with good writing that often entertains, too. The latest Post looks at the severe drought in California, where there is virtually no snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. He posts a satellite view (copied below, with labels added); he also posts a state drought map and a pressure map showing the three huge high pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean, which are blocking storm flows that instead are going north to Alaska. All of this is very unusual; none of this should be ignored. The news is not good, but hey, we all have a responsibility to stand up straight, see what is happening, and do all we can to make the best of it.

20140624.. near snowless SierraNevada, from R.Scribbler

EXCERPT: “There is no relief for poor California. To the west, a heat dome high pressure system sits its dry and desiccating watch, deflecting storm systems northward toward Canada, Alaska, and, recently, even the Arctic Ocean. It is a weather system that drinks deep of Northwestern Pacific waters heated to 2-4+ C above average by humankind’s extraordinary greenhouse gas overburden. A mountain of dense and far hotter than normal air that is shoving the storm-laden Jet Stream at a right angle away from the US west coast and on up into an Arctic Ocean unprepared for the delivery of such a high intensity heat and moisture flow….”

From what I have seen, the author typically Posts 3-6 times each week, so if you just drop in and look at his Posts every few days or so, you will almost always come away with more knowledge, and a deeper sense of why we need to get serious about climate change. And SOON.