June 21, 2024

Climate change: Study: More disruptions to flights – Entertainment

The study, published at the beginning of June, focuses on clear air turbulence, which does not occur in an expected way in mountain ranges or during storms, but catches the pilot in free flight “out of nowhere”. KEY FINDING: This disturbance increased in the period under study from 1979 to 2020. The increase was particularly strong in mid-latitudes and especially over the United States and the North Atlantic Ocean. And the total duration of severe turbulence over the North Atlantic increased by 55 percent, according to the study. A mean perturbation occurred 37 percent longer, and a photodisturbation 17 percent longer. But other areas are also affected, such as routes across Europe.

The link to climate change has been suspected for some time

The turbulence – known as “air pockets” – is caused by storm surges that travel from top to bottom or from bottom to top. They change the flow on the wings and thus the lift: the plane dangles or drags suddenly. The authors had already established a relationship between the increase in disturbance and climate change in previous studies. Study co-author Paul Williams explains that when sailing at altitude, climate change will warm the area south of the jet stream more than the area north of it. A larger temperature difference leads to stronger wind shears – sharp changes in wind direction – and thus to more turbulence.