If you plan to travel at all this year, make sure you’re ready to get bounced around, because airplane turbulence is expected to get much, much worse — and it’s all because of climate change. You might be shaking your head in disbelief, but there was a paper published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences proving that the increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere causes planes to experience more turbulence.
That’s because all the CO2 gives planes a harder time at navigating vertical wind shears. As a result, there’s more resistance and destabilization. Cue the extra turbulence. A researcher for the study, Paul Williams, said the rates at which turbulence is going to increase are pretty alarming.
Light turbulence will probably increase 59 percent, moderate turbulence is set to increase by 94 percent, and heavy turbulence could be increasing by 149 percent. Whoa. It may not sound like that big of a deal to most of us, but Williams reminded everyone that turbulence can be a really big deal to some people.
“We also need to investigate the altitude and seasonal dependence of the changes, and to analyze different climate models and warming scenarios to quantify the uncertainties,” he continued. It’s become a priority to investigate other flight routes around the world.
We sure hope they find a way to reduce all that turbulence, because we don’t want anyone getting hurt — and we definitely don’t want our red wine spilled all over our laps.