A long-haul flight from megalopolis to megalopolis with a window seat (away from the wing!) can be an amazing chance to appreciate the wild far reaches of this amazing planet, and an education in Earth's geography. Especially when equipped with the online moving map and a judicious download of the relevant high resolution images of the flight path from Google Earth before flying.
Yesterday I flew from London to San Francisco. The flight took an exceptionally northerly route, passing 80 degrees north, with stunning views of north-west Greenland, where the thick ice sheet calves icebergs into Baffin Bay. The afternoon sun was low and lit up the still waters of Baffin Bay with a translucent orange-yellow. In late September the calving is calming to a halt but the winter freeze has not begun. This is the period of minimum sea ice cover, and this minimum has been declining year-on-year, and much faster than expected.
(plus I add a few pictures of Jasper National Park and the spectacular Canadian Rockies)
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University