An average family of four in the U.S. could contribute to melting a football field-sized area of sea ice in 30 years.
When we hear about reports of the crisis of climate change and the impact it has on the melting sea ice, it can be hard to comprehend just how we as individuals are contributing to the demise. Most of us believe we don’t have much of an impact from what we do, but a new study has revealed the devastating consequences that each person has on the rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice.
According to a paper published in the journal Science, each metric ton of carbon dioxide released into the air causes around three square meters (approximately 32.3 square feet) of Arctic sea ice to disappear. A report in Christian Science Monitor estimates that just one seat on a flight from New York to London or 2,433 miles of driving accumulates one metric ton of CO2
To look at this from an individual perspective, an average American can contribute to the melting of around 50 square meters of the ice sheets every single year and that equates to a family of four causing an area of ice around the size of a football field to melt over the span of 30 years.
The authors of the study are hoping these statistics could encourage people to change their CO2 emitting habits because small changes could really help.
“Our study now provides individuals with the sense that their own individual actions make a difference,” Dirk Notz, head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview. “If I decide to drive my car a little less or to buy a car that uses less fuel, for example, all these little actions will make a difference for sea ice.”