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Studies show aviation turbulence is increasing with global warming

Scientists have found that the skies over which planes fly are more bumpy today than they were four decades ago, after new analyzes showed that turbulence increased with climate change. New research from the University of Reading shows that open air turbulence, which is unseen and dangerous for airplanes, is increasing in different parts of the world.

At a typical point on the North Atlantic, one of the world’s busiest routes, the total annual duration of severe turbulence increased by 55% from 17.7 hours in 1979 to 27.4 hours in 2020, according to the study. Moderate turbulence increased 37% from 70.0 hours to 96.1 hours, and light turbulence increased 17% from 466.5 hours to 546.8 hours, according to Phys.org.

The team of authors of the study published in the journal Science. Geophysical Research Letterssays the increase is consistent with the effects of climate change. Warmer air than CO emissions2 It increases wind shear in jet streams by increasing clean air turbulence in the North Atlantic and around the world.

Researcher Mark Prosser, PhD, said: “Turbulence makes flying difficult and can sometimes be dangerous. Airlines will need to start thinking about how to deal with the increasing turbulence as it costs the industry $150-500 million a year in the US alone. Every additional minute of travel due to turbulence increases the risk of injury to passengers and flight attendants, as well as wear and tear on the aircraft.”

While the US and the North Atlantic saw the largest increases in turbulence, the new study found that other busy routes over Europe, the Middle East and the South Atlantic also saw significant increases in turbulence.

Professor Paul Williams, an atmospheric researcher at the University of Reading and one of the study’s authors, said: “After ten years of research showing that climate change will lead to an increase in outdoor turbulence in the future, we now have proof. We have improved to prevent choppy weather from leading to more bumpy flights in the coming years.” We should invest in turbulence prediction and detection systems.”

Source: Port Altele



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