Climate Change

Climate Change Could Make Transatlantic Flights Really, Really Bumpy

Rising global temperatures could lead to more turbulence during transatlantic flights.

Climate Change Could Make Transatlantic Flights Really, Really Bumpy
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Climate change could make turbulence on transatlantic flights really common and really bad.

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

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.

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Airplane staff likely 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.

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