Sunday, June 23, 2024
32 C
New Jersey

Exploring the Reasons Behind Increased Air Turbulence During Flight

Must read

Warren Henry
Warren Henry is a tech geek and video game enthusiast whose engaging and immersive narratives explore the intersection of technology and gaming.

Each year, pilots report an average of 5,500 collisions with severe turbulence or more. This number has increased in recent years due to climate change.

Experts believe extreme weather could intensify in the coming years as severe weather persists around the world.

Why does the disorder worsen?

Turbulence is any irregular and unpredictable change in air traffic that affects the altitude and movement of an aircraft.

This can range from a slight push to a violent rolling that causes nausea or injury, such as hitting your head on a seat. The main causes of turbulence generated by commercial aircraft include storms, barometric pressure and jet streams.

Typically, pilots use their eyes, radar, and reports from other aircraft to spot storms and other signs of impending turbulence before the aircraft starts to shake. This gives them time to activate the “fasten seat belts” sign and instruct passengers to remain in their seats.

But pilots also have to contend with clean air turbulence, that is, turbulence without a clear cause.

Turbulence in clear skies can cause aircraft to twitch and twitch before the pilot can issue a warning, making them particularly dangerous, and it is this type of turbulence that is on the rise due to climate change.

Link between climate change and air pollution

The main cause of clear sky turbulence is a sudden change in wind speed and direction, especially in jet streams.

“When the wind is blowing from the west at 100 mph at 30,000 feet and also blowing from the north at 30 mph,” said Stephen Bennett, Chairman of the American Meteorological Society Committee on Monetary Weather and Climate Risk, and co-founder and chief climate officer of the Demex group, only at or just below 20,000 feet can it be too turbulent for an aircraft moving between those two altitudes.”

In short, this results in an unstable jet stream and faster winds. Both play important roles in clear-air turbulence, and global temperature change has already increased the effect by 15% since 1979.

In addition, clear-air turbulence tends to develop around upper-level jet streams where aircraft normally fly. These fast wind gusts are intensifying with global warming, said Isabelle Smith, a meteorologist and doctoral student at the University of Reading and lead author of a 2023 paper on clear sky turbulence trends over the North Atlantic.

Smith said the increase in greenhouse gas emissions traps heat in the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere closest to the surface.

But this heat had to be released into the stratosphere, which is the next layer.

As a result, the troposphere is globally warming, while the stratosphere is rapidly cooling.

“This increases the temperature gradient between the two layers, which increases the jet stream, which in turn creates an unsteady wind flow and increases clean air turbulence,” Smith said.

Weather researchers also predict that clear-air turbulence will double by 2050, with turbulence being stronger than others.

Clear-air turbulence is the cause of a large proportion of weather-related aircraft accidents. And clutter in general is a leading cause of injury among flight attendants.

While experts predict that the effects of climate change will only get worse, you probably shouldn’t worry about future flights being interrupted.

And while it might seem like flying could become more dangerous due to climate change, it’s not that simple, in part because air guidance systems are likely adapting to avoid areas of high turbulence.

Smith added that severe disorders remain very rare. However, she adds that airlines always try to avoid turbulence as much as possible. Thus, increased turbulence is likely to lead to more complex flight paths, which could mean longer travel and holding times, as well as increased jet fuel burn and carbon emissions.

In fact, preventing crashes could cost airlines an additional $22 million a year, Smith said, resulting in an additional 70 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. The research letter showed that the aircraft could spend about 2,000 extra hours a year in the air this way.

Source: Science Alert

More articles

Leave a Reply

Latest article