Buckle up! Flights to get bumpier due to climate change


Buckle up! Flights to get bumpier due to climate change

Scientists have said we should expect more turbulence on flights in the future as global warming worsens.

A study by Dr Paul Williams and Dr Manoj Joshi, published in Nature Climate Change, suggests that "climate change will lead to bumpier transatlantic flights by the middle of this century."

It continues: "Journey times may lengthen and fuel consumption and emissions may increase. Aviation is partly responsible for changing the climate, but our findings show for the first time how climate change could affect aviation."

Leading the research, Paul Williams, of the University of Reading, said: "Air turbulence does more than just interrupt the service of in-flight drinks. It injures hundreds of passengers and aircrew every year. It also causes delays and damages planes, with the total cost to society being about £100m each year."

Dr Williams said passengers will see the 'fasten seatbelts' sign turned on more frequently in the coming decades.

He added that an increase in turbulence would "make flying more uncomfortable and increase the risk to passengers and crew".

Dr Joshi said: "Our research focused on clear-air turbulence in winter. This is especially problematic to airliners, because clear-air turbulence is invisible to pilots and satellites, and winter is when it peaks."

In the past, turbulence has forced emergency landings and injured passengers, even hospitalising some.

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