Airplane rides may be extra bumpy in the future owing to climate change. Turbulence may become two to three times more common, according to a study from the University of Reading.
The study is the first to explore the turbulence strength levels and how it will change in the future. Researchers observed the average light amount turbulence in the atmosphere that will increase around 59 percent. However, moderate turbulence will reach up to 94 percent, while severe turbulence will show a rise by 149 percent. Scientists believe that due to higher carbon dioxide levels, stronger vertical wind shears create cruising altitudes at aircraft, such that it will make the shear instabilities to create clear-air turbulence. This century, the CO2 levels are expected to double later.
“For most passengers, the light turbulence is just an annoying inconvenience reducing their comfort levels, but for nervous fliers a slight turbulence is also distressing,” said Dr. Paul Williams, the study’s author, in a press release. “However, even the seasoned frequent fliers may be alarmed at a 149 percent increase in severe turbulence that frequently hospitalizes air travelers and also the flight attendants.”
Dr. Williams added it to top priority and is expected to investigate alternate flight routes. “We require investigating the seasonal dependence and altitude of the changes, to analyze different climate models and warming scenarios to quantify the uncertainties,” he said.
The Weather Company has recently teamed with Gogo Inc. for $2 billion, to give pilots a heads up as the turbulence happens, so that they can adjust their flight paths.