New Effect of Climate Change: Bumpy Flights

North Atlantic winds are getting worse, study says

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 13, 2013 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Already annoyed by airplane turbulence and flashing seat-belt signs? Those bumpy rides will get significantly worse over the North Atlantic in years to come, according to a new study. A British research team has found that climate change will probably intensify North Atlantic winds that were already growing stronger. That means flights between the Americas and Europe will only get bumpier or be forced to take costly detours around turbulent areas, the BBC reports.

"Fuel costs money, which airlines have to pay, and ultimately it could of course be passengers buying their tickets who see the prices go up," said a co-author of the study. Using a supercomputer, the researchers found that by the 2050s, North Atlantic turbulence could grow by 10% to 40%, and the area of turbulent winds could expand by up to 170%. See the full study at Nature Climate Change. (Or read about a national call for climate-change education.)

Not a smooth ride.
Not a smooth ride.   (Shutterstock)
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