This article introduces factors contributing significantly to climate change that have been largely neglected in both the scientific and popular press. These factors have immediate implications for public policy directed at slowing, halting and even reversing climate change and its effects. This article argues that in addition to the known contributions made by greenhouse gasses, climate change is also driven by shifts in the patterns of global atmospheric circulation which are influenced by persistent, large-scale vortices caused by the wake turbulence left by commercial air traffic. Because this traffic is highly concentrated along the most frequently traveled routes, the vortices aircraft create have transformed into semi-permanent atmospheric circulation which have widespread effects on how the atmosphere traps and releases heat. It is also possible that these changes alter the loss of water from the atmosphere. This would endanger all life on earth, not just the human population.