Bumpier Skies Ahead, Thanks to Climate Change

From Drugs.com - October 10, 2017

Bumpier Skies Ahead, Thanks to Climate Change

TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 -- Airplane passengers around the world could be in for a bumpier ride because of climate change, new research suggests.

By mid-century, the likelihood of severe air turbulence along popular international flight routes will probably multiply, British scientists say.

"Air turbulence is increasing across the globe, in all seasons, and at multiple cruising altitudes," said study lead author Paul Williams.

"This problem is only going to worsen as the climate continues to change," said Williams, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Reading.

Severe turbulence at the routine cruising altitude of 39,000 feet will become two to three times more common over the North Atlantic and Europe, the study predicted.

North American flights could see more than a doubling of rough air pockets, while the skies over the North Pacific and Asia will become 90 percent and 60 percent bumpier, respectively, according to the study.

The researchers said air turbulence is also expected to intensify in the Southern Hemisphere.

Severe turbulence is strong enough to throw people and luggage around an aircraft cabin, the researchers noted.

The findings were published recently in Geophysical Research Letters.


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