Study: Expect more turbulence on future flights

WASHINGTON D.C. (WIVB) — The flights of the future may be in for a rough ride if you believe a new report that suggests plenty of turbulence.

The study suggests global warming will create more “rough air” by the second half of this century.

A video within the News 4 broadcast clip above shows how scary severe turbulence can be for passengers, and even for pilots.

Experts at the American Geophysical Union used supercomputers to simulate what air patterns will be like between the years 2050 and 2080.

The researchers focused on what pilots call “clear air turbulence.”

It’s especially dangerous because it’s invisible, virtually impossible to predict, and impacts flights at the most popular cruising altitude of 39,000 feet.

Dr. Paul Williams said “We’ve calculated that the amount of severe turbulence, which is strong enough to hospitalize people, could double, or even triple by the end of this century on transatlantic flight routes because of climate change.”

The researchers claim rising carbon dioxide levels would destabilize the jet stream.

If you believe the argument, turbulence over the north Atlantic and Europe would go up 149 percent.

The lead author of the study says forecasters will need to develop improved turbulence forecasts to protect passengers from getting hurt.

MORE | See the study here.

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