As though it wasn’t enough that the weather is trying to murder us and the reef has been bleached whiter than Pete Evans‘ teeth, climate change has yet more shit to rub our noses in. This time, it’s fucking with our flight plans.
A study from the University of Reading is the first to examine the effects climate change will have on in-flight turbulence, and its findings are… not great.
In fact, if the current trend of atmospheric carbon dioxide continues – and all indications point to it doing just that – we’re going to be looking at some very bumpy flights indeed.
Dr Paul Williams and his colleagues found that changes in vertical wind shear due to man-made climate change will likely increase light turbulence by 59%, light-to-moderate by 75%, moderate by 94%, moderate-to-severe by 127%, and severe by 149%.
A one hundred and forty-nine per cent increase in severe turbulence. Cool!!!!
For some perspective, light turbulence is that annoying jostling that forces you to obey the seatbelt sign when you really need to pee. Severe turbulence regularly puts passengers and flight attendants in hospital.
The study looked at changes in wintertime transatlantic clear-air turbulence at 39,000 if the rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide was twice what it is currently. Sounds like a lot, but we’re on track to hit that mark later this century.
Dr Williams is now planning to expand his research.
“My top priority for the future is to investigate other flight routes around the world. We also need to investigate the altitude and seasonal dependence of the changes, and to analyse different climate models and warming scenarios to quantify the uncertainties.”
Will this finally be enough for our government and the Orange Man to accept that climate change is happening, it’s real, and we have already begun to cop the extremely shitty results of our wanton disregard for the planet on which we live? Doubtful.
Nervous fliers, I don’t know what to tell ya. Invest in a hovercraft, maybe.
Source: Digital Trends.