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Climate Change to Cause Greater Flight Turbulence, Times and Increase Fares - 13th May


Climate change is not only impacting on the environment but is also causing greater flight turbulence and increasing transatlantic flight times, leading to a rise in flight fares. A study conducted earlier this year researched flight paths from London and New York, one of the world’s busiest flight routes. It was concluded that due to the rise in temperature the jet stream has become 15% stronger making it 80% more likely for westbound flights to take over seven hours and possibly meaning it becomes too turbulent to travel.

Turbulence is known to be the cause of most weather-related aircraft incidents injuring hundreds of passengers yearly. Turbulence is also hard to avoid as it cannot be seen by pilots or picked up by on-board radars. Along with this, damage to aircrafts caused by turbulence costs airlines tens of millions of dollars according to the study.

Dr Paul Williams (University of Reading) stated “It is becoming increasingly clear that the interaction (between aviation and climate change) is two-way and that climate change has important consequences for aviation”.

With aircrafts already being a major contributor to global warming the increase in flight times will mean an extra 2,000 hours a year of airborne flight time. This increase will cause an extra 70 million kilograms of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere, the equivalent of annual emissions from 7,100 homes in Britain. 

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