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Fear of flying? It will only get worse due to climate change


Researchers have found that air turbulence during flights will worsen with climate change.


Spencer Platt

Fear of flying? It will only get worse according to a new study that says climate change is making flights more turbulent.

Researchers at the University of Reading found that CO2 emissions will increase the prevalence of clear-air turbulence along flight routes in the years to come.

Turbulence is caused by columns of air moving vertically.

It cannot be spotted by satellites or radars and is more than just a pain for travelers.

"Air turbulence does more than just interrupt the service of in-flight drinks," study author Paul Williams, an atmospheric researcher at the University of Reading, said in a statement.

"It injures hundreds of passengers and aircrew every year -- sometimes fatally. It also causes delays and damage to planes."

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Researchers used a number of climate models spanning into the future with turbulence-predicting algorithms to test for the results.

They mainly looked at the busy North Atlantic corridor where 600 planes pass each day.

CO2 emissions are said to be heating up the lower atmosphere.

The gas also changes the atmosphere making the air more unstable - a bad thing for airplanes.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Nature Climate Change.