Increasing in-flight turbulence: climate change is the cause

Most air travelers have experienced some moments of turbulence during a flight. Typically, these are hectic moments that, while frightening, rarely cause physical harm.
in-flight turbulence climate change

Most air travelers have experienced some moments of turbulence during a flight. Typically, these are hectic moments that, while frightening, rarely cause physical harm.

However, the tragic accident which occurred during the London-Singapore flight on 21 May led to the death of a passenger, bringing attention back to the phenomenon of turbulence, in particular sudden and violent ones which can test even the most experienced pilot.

Experts attribute the increase in these phenomena to climate change.

The causes of air turbulence

Air turbulence can be caused by various atmospheric conditions, such as storms, mountains, and high-speed air currents known as jet streams.

However, the type of turbulence involved in the accident in question is known as “clear air turbulence,” which is not visible through visual indicators such as clouds or storms. This type of turbulence strikes suddenly and is difficult to spot in advance, as it is not detected by onboard weather radars.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, turbulence is the leading cause of injury to both flight attendants and passengers in non-fatal crashes. Furthermore, it represents one of the most common aviation accidents, as reported by the US National Transportation Safety Board.

Impact of climate change

Studies conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board indicate that turbulence, defined as a sudden and violent shift in airflow, is the most common cause of airline accidents resulting in injury.

Scientific evidence suggests that climate change is contributing to the increase in this phenomenon. Research by climate and aviation experts indicates a significant increase in turbulence, with future projections predicting a further increase if the climate continues to change as predicted.

Other studies published in Nature Climate Change have highlighted that climate change is altering the jet stream, making winds from the upper atmosphere even more intense. This could result in greater turbulence during flights and an increase in extreme weather phenomena.

Flight safety in the future

Despite forecasts of increased turbulence, experts assure that flying will remain a safe means of transport. Airplanes are designed and built to withstand the most extreme weather conditions.

However, it is likely that the average duration of turbulence during flights will increase, leading to a greater frequency of seat belt sign reports during flight.

Classification of turbulence

There is a scale to measure the intensity of turbulence. Mild turbulence causes a slight tension on the seat belts, while still allowing the normal carrying out of on-board activities.

Moderate turbulence places increased strain on seat belts and can make walking in the airplane cabin difficult.

Strong turbulence is the most intense and can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, if passengers do not wear seat belts correctly.

Read also: Air travel of the future, the new trends of the aviation industry

Related articles...
Latest news
The French stock market collapses London becomes the richest in Europe again

The French stock market collapses: London becomes the richest in Europe again

ukraine entry nato

What are the consequences of Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO?

5 ways technology is revolutionizing the online gaming and betting sector

5 ways technology is revolutionizing the online gaming and betting sector

economic impact us elections

The economic impact of US elections: insights on the upcoming November 2024 vote

best tracks for cyclotourism worldwide

The 10 best tracks for cyclotourism around the world

biden replacements white house

Is Biden considering withdrawal? The 6 possible replacements for the Dem race to the White House

Newsletter

Sign up now to stay updated on all business topics.