According to a recent article published in the Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (AAS), turbulence in airlines will become two or three times as common thanks to ongoing climate changes,
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Reading and it is the first study to examine the future of severe turbulence. In such scenario, airplanes go through random ups and downs and walking in such case is nearly impossible.
In order to understand the phenomenon, the study examined strength level of different turbulence and how they will change in future due to climate change. The results were interesting as they showed that the amount of light turbulence in the atmosphere will increase by 59%, with light-to-moderate turbulence increasing by 75%, moderate by 94%, moderate-to-severe by 127%, and severe by 149%.
Researchers mentioned that the potential increase in numbers come from the stronger wind shears within the jet stream caused by the climate changes. Researcher Paul Williams said, “Our new study paints the most detailed picture yet of how aircraft turbulence will respond to climate change.
“For most passengers, light turbulence is nothing more than an annoying inconvenience that reduces their comfort levels, but for nervous fliers even light turbulence can be distressing.
“However, even the most seasoned frequent fliers may be alarmed at the prospect of a 149% increase in severe turbulence, which frequently hospitalises air travellers and flight attendants around the world.”
: “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 analyze different climate models and warming scenarios to quantify the uncertainties.”