Some people’s fear of flying is exponentially increased in the presence of turbulence. The bad news is that the short episodes of intense fear of crashing will become more frequent due to the effects of climate change. At least, that’s what researchers are claiming in the latest study published in.
A new study shows that the flight turbulence might increase in a few years. This research is actually built on previous research looking at climate patterns and the effects of climate change on aerial transport. By using climate model simulations, the scientists managed to measure the frequency of clear-air turbulence. Just like hurricanes and earthquakes, flight turbulence is also divided into categories according to how much damage it can produce.
All Strength Categories Will Increase
A previous study published 4 years ago showed that if the current level of carbon dioxide doubles, the frequency of jet streams will also be exponentially increased. Jet streams are narrow fast-flowing air currents that roam the tropopause. They flow from east to west, causing turbulence whenever an aircraft encounters them.
The leader of the study, Paul D. Williams, started looking for the effects of jet streams on the intensity of flight turbulence, classifying the latter according to their intensity and the weather conditions in which they appear. He found that clear-air turbulence can go from severe to light. Williams also observed that the levels of flight turbulence can increase by more than 60% if carbon dioxide levels continue to increase. Moderate turbulence will increase by 94%, while severe turbulence will go up by 149%.
This shows that the effects of climate change can have an impact on transportation as well as people will need to prepare themselves for more severe air turbulence. However, the study has its limitations as it was conducted using data gathered from the North Atlantic region. Other researchers may not reach the same conclusions when inputting information gathered from other areas of the world.
More about Clear-Air Turbulence
This type of turbulence is the most common one. Also known as CAT, clear-air turbulence is likely to be experienced by the majority of passengers. CAT occurs when the edge of a jet stream interacts with moving air. The problem is that it is impossible to detect this type of turbulence and it can’t be avoided. Despite the fact that it is the most common cause of injury for passengers, it doesn’t cause severe harm.
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