Global warming and air travel

With the tragic fate of Air France flight 447 over the Atlantic, one can not help but ask the question why. Was it simply bad luck, or were the storms they hit bigger than usual.

Looking past the tragedy and the loss of life, the first place investigators will look is some sort of equipment failure. With the evidence pointing to the aircraft coming apart in flight, they first will assume human error in construction of the aircraft. After all encountering these storms is a regular occurrence. The fact that this particular aircraft was only 4 years old and equipped with the latest technology, it does tend to limit the age related causes. In short this was a very sound and airworthy aircraft.

So that turns us to looking at the storms. One of the signatures of global warming is bigger and meaner storms. Just because we do not see the storms form at sea, does not mean they are the same size as they have always been. Storms have been growing in size every year from about 1990.

So not to cause panic, we must face the possibility that this may be the first of many such air disasters. We think of land damage with storms, but little about aircraft being ripped apart. It is not a common news item. Mostly when we hear about downed aircraft in storms it has to do with downdrafts forcing the aircraft out of the sky.

Connecting the Dots only wants to entertain the though that this air disaster may have been caused by global warming factors, and we make no claim that it was as the real reason is unknown.

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