Air passengers face a bumpier ride due to climate change
Why turbulence occurs
Higher wind speeds clashing in the atmosphere create the potential for increasingly common episodes of turbulence over large parts of the North Atlantic.
The number of clear-air turbulence models (out of 21 studied) to show an increase (red shading) or decrease (blue) in the amount of light-or-greater turbulence over the North Atlantic in winter when the CO2 level is doubled. Source: Williams (2017).
Percentage increase in transatlantic winter clear-air turbulence in five strength categories according to 21 different mathematical models of turbulence when the CO2 level is doubled. Source: Williams (2017).
What impact could this have?
What does the future hold?
Author Dr Paul Williams is an associate professor and Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Reading, specialising in atmospheric science. Published in: Williams, P. D. (2017) Increased light, moderate, and severe clear-air turbulence in response to climate change, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, doi:10.1007/s00376-017-6268-2.