Climate change could make turbulence worse

Differences in air temperature will cause stronger wind shears, resulting in the plane shaking

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Climate change could make turbulence on transatlantic flights a lot more common - and a lot more powerful, says a new study.

Researchers from the University of Reading studied the potential effects of climate change on jet streams in winter.

See also: What is turbulence and should you be scared?

See also: Which is the best seat on a plane for a smooth flight?


Significant air temperature differences in the streams causes stronger wind shears, which basically means a plane flying through the area is going to shake... a lot.

Averaged out, they found the likelihood of light turbulence could increase by 59 percent, the likelihood of moderate turbulence could increase by 94 percent, and the likelihood of severe turbulence could increase by almost 150 percent.

The turbulence could possibly be severe enough to cause an unbuckled passenger to fly around the cabin.

It's likely that cabin crew wouldn't be able to deliver food and walking onboard would be impossible.

The good news is that countries around the world are trying to lower CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change.

Researchers hope that expanding their study could help lead to improvements in technology that would increase pilots' abilities to avoid turbulence.


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