Climate Change Could Mean Bumpier Flights
Scientists predict the frequency of clear-air turbulence will double by mid-century.
Those bumps could also become stronger due to the intensification of conditions that lead to a type of turbulence called clear-air turbulence, according to the study published online today in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Unlike the turbulence associated with storm clouds, clear-air turbulence is mainly associated with jet streams—large rivers of air in the atmosphere—and can occur in clear blue skies. (Related: "Severe Weather More Likely Thanks to Climate Change.")
"The pilot can't see it and the sensors onboard can't see it—that's why it's a particularly dangerous form of turbulence," said Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and lead author of the new paper.
It happens mostly