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Climate Change

Climate Change Making Air Travel More Bumpier, Study Finds

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that at a typical point over the North Atlantic – one of the world’s busiest flight routes – the total annual duration of severe turbulence increased by 55 per cent from 17.7 hours in 1979 to 27.4 hours in 2020

Climate Change Making Air Travel More Bumpier, Study Finds
Moderate turbulence increased by 37 per cent from 70.0 to 96.1 hours, and light turbulence increased by 17 per cent from 466.5 to 546.8 hours, the researchers said

New Delhi: Climate change has made travelling by planes more turbulent today than it was four decades ago, according to a study. The researchers from the University of Reading in the UK found that clear-air turbulence, which is invisible and hazardous to aircraft, has increased in various regions around the world.

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that at a typical point over the North Atlantic – one of the world’s busiest flight routes – the total annual duration of severe turbulence increased by 55 per cent from 17.7 hours in 1979 to 27.4 hours in 2020.

Also Read: India Vulnerable To Climate Change Due To Heavy Population: UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim

Moderate turbulence increased by 37 per cent from 70.0 to 96.1 hours, and light turbulence increased by 17 per cent from 466.5 to 546.8 hours, the researchers said. The team noted that the increases are consistent with the effects of climate change. Warmer air from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is increasing windshear in the jet streams, strengthening clear-air turbulence in the North Atlantic and globally.

Turbulence makes flights bumpy and can occasionally be dangerous. Airlines will need to start thinking about how they will manage the increased turbulence, as it costs the industry USD 150–500 million annually in the US alone. Every additional minute spent travelling through turbulence increases wear-and-tear on the aircraft, as well as the risk of injuries to passengers and flight attendants, said Mark Prosser, a PhD researcher at the University of Reading.

While the US and North Atlantic have experienced the largest increases, the study found that other busy flight routes over Europe, the Middle East, and the South Atlantic also saw significant increases in turbulence.

Following a decade of research showing that climate change will increase clear-air turbulence in the future, we now have evidence suggesting that the increase has already begun. We should be investing in improved turbulence forecasting and detection systems, to prevent the rougher air from translating into bumpier flights in the coming decades, Professor Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading who co-authored the study.

Also Read: First U.S. Youth Climate Change Trial Kicks Off In Montana

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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