By 2050, plane trips between the U.S. and Europe could take longer, use more fuel and be subject to more turbulence, according to a new study.
The study investigated clear-air turbulence, or turbulence that occurs in clear sky instead of inside clouds or near mountains. Clear-air turbulence is impossible for pilots to spot or radar to detect, but models do exist to predict where and when it will occur. Two climate researchers in the U.K. combined different models to come up with a calculation for how a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, compared to pre-industrial levels, could affect clear-air turbulence. (In one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's four possible future scenarios for climate change, carbon dioxide levels double by the middle of the 21st century.)
In the new hybrid model, twice as much carbon dioxide in the air would increase median clear-air turbulence strength along common transatlantic routes by 41 percent. Turbulence of at least moderate severity would happen 40 percent to 170 percent more often. Carbon dioxide increases strengthen jet streams, which are a major driving factor in clear-air turbulence.
Airline passengers won't necessarily feel these exact numbers, as what passengers feel is mostly that stomach-dropping, up-and-down turbulence, which doesn't always increase linearly with overall turbulence. Nevertheless, New York-to-London will probably get bumpier. The U.K. researchers cited two observational studies that suggested that transatlantic flights are already more turbulent than they used to be.
The researchers said avoiding increased turbulence spots could account for increased passenger jet fuel use and flight times.
This is the first time anyone has studied how global warming will affect clear-air turbulence, the researchers wrote in their paper, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Absolute rubbish. Or to be kinder, pure speculation based on inaccurate computer models.
Is there empirical data that shows a correlation between atmospheric CO2 saturation and the strength or frequency of clear air turbulence? No, there isn't. So how can the authors of this paper make a claim like "most clear-air turbulence measures show a 10–40% increase in the median strength of turbulence and a 40–170% increase in the frequency of occurrence of moderate-or-greater turbulence"?
They base their claim on the yet-to-be-proven proposition that CO2 increases temperature which in turn increases jet stream speeds which then increases clear air turbulence.
Here's how they arrive at their conclusion. They survey the global temperature predictions of computer climate models then estimate how much the predicted warmer atmospheric temperatures will increase turbulence due to warmer air.
Just a few problems:
1. Those computer models have all overestimated warming. See the following graph:
2. No one has demonstrated that the negligible increase in CO2 saturation we've seen in the last century measurably increases warming. Look at the following two graphs (CO2 and global temperatures) to see that there is no obvious correlation:
3. Atmospheric turbulence is caused by temperature and pressure DIFFERENCES. Clear air turbulence at jetliner altitudes is generally caused by the jet stream, which in turn is driven by atmospheric pressure differences. It is not clear how or why the authors think global atmospheric temperature increases would cause the jet stream to blow any faster. When regional temperatures increase from, for example, El Niño, jet stream speeds will increase. However, if the temperature increased relatively uniformly on a GLOBAL scale, there is no reason to think that jet stream air speed would increase. Remember, it is driven by temperature differences, not simply uniformly rising temperature.
Keep your eyes on the climate science blogosphere for the imminent debunking of yet another spurious claim by climate alarmists.
This is such a pointless blog post. I'm hoping that by 2050 we will not be traveling in the same fashion as we are now. Why not do an article about the future of long distant Earth travel. The only things we seem to be getting nowadays on PopSci is about climate, cute animals, drones, or plain junk science.
Even the actual articles, not these blog posts with links, are dull and uninspired. If I just wanted a link I could search for it on Google or any of the other 30 sites that PopSci is turning into.
Get back to the real science and the real interesting articles!
Spare me. Poopsci give it up dude... no one cares. Even the most environmentally green person in your own office drives a frikken car!!!!! And if they don't, SO WHAT????? Everyone else does!!!
I sound like the guy who never votes cuz he thinks no one else does and that his vote wont make a difference anyway but ya know what? WHO CARES!!!!! lmao.... there is no damn proof about any of this garbage... get over it.... if there was proof people would .... wait for it.... wait for it.... people would.... CARE!!!!! And something would be done immediately. But no one cares cuz its just your biased view. so.... spare me ok? enough already.... every week you got ten freakin climate change articles. DID YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE YET???? SEE ANY MORE PEOPLE CHANGING THEIR MINDS AND CARING BECAUSE OF YOUR RELENTLESS PROPOGANDA???? NO!!!!! THE ONES THAT BELIEVE YOUR CRAP BELIEVE IT AND THE ONES THAT DONT WONT!!!! SO CUT THE GLOBAL WARMING BARAGE ALREADY!!!!! WE GET IT!!! YOU THINK ITS HAPPENING!!!! WONDERFUL!!! NOW STOP!!!
you mad bro? lmaoo.... not really.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
Damn! Is there nothing global warming cannot do? What a power!
Such a shame Francie is doomed to shovel hot pots of garbage and sludge like this in order to live such a marginal existence.
popsci has become polsci for sure
Do to global warming, I have a tooth ache.
Do to global warming, the dog pee on the carpet.
Do to global warming, my car got a flat tire.
Do to global warming, bla bla bla.
I understanding making things better, now for a good, efficient, practical reason as they relate to an immediate goal of something, but lets stop the global warming, the sky is falling voodoo dance, ok.
Oh, I still believe global warming is cause by the natural cycles of the sun and yes the rise of the industrial revolution too.
I also am aware of the scary voodoo sky is falling dance too, people use for their own business or political reasons too.
Not going to lie. Even though I believe man causes global warming, I have a truck...lol.
Even if it would happen technology will greatly advance. Currently both Airbus and Nasa are working on and improving individual systems that scan the sky in front of the plane and have the on board computer make small and fast automated corrections to minimize and even completely eliminate turbulence. Just like modern cruise ships have developed systems that stop up and down motion to prevent sea sickness.
The same people comment on most articles on popsci and always say how much they hate popsci and the stuff it is choosing to report on. Guys, if you hate it so much then stop reading! The fact that some people perceive science as having "sides" to take is depressing enough
I warned of this years ago. Actually, I pointed out that the unnatural chemicals chemtrails are spraying into the air seemed to be making the air less and less able to support aircraft. Spates of daily or every other day crashes, separated by a couple of months, were a commonplace only a few years ago. At the same time, cancellations and delays skyrocketed and malfunctions or bizarre “incidents” on the tarmac or in midair, were epidemic. Some substances being poured into the air seem to hold much more heat than normal air. That's why the National Weather Service had to recalculate wind chill to reflect the fact that the air holds more heat. But, remember, it's recommended not to fly in in air above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Airlines had to find “reasons” and “excuses' not to fly into or to “divert” around patches of particularly debased atmosphere. They aren't admitting the full truth, but they seem to be establishing the basis for “explaining away” events that I warned of and seem to be becoming so common that they can no longer be denied.
The other day I was thinking about global warming, and I thought well if I wanted to heat the earth what would I do. I would chop down all the trees(this has cascade effect on warming, IE CO2), and put in a black surface on the whole earth, and in the process emit as many green house gases as possible. Then I would burn as many things as possible to try and create as much heat as possible. This is exactly what man is doing, case in point urban sprawl.
I guess this is a response to the people who get super defensive about man being responsible for global warming. You guys should realize that yes the earth is warming, and we appear to be drunk at the wheel.
I don't hate PopSci but I do hate what it is becoming. I've been reading Popular Science for the past 15 years. I have been a subscriber for the past 5, only because my family subscribed to it before then. I waited in anticipation each month for my newest issue of Popular Science. Now I live abroad and cannot read each issue that comes out (and I'm poor) so I look to their website only to find biased, unscientific blog posts that are spewed out daily.
May I suggest, "...www.sciencedaily.com/..." and no blogging allowed.
Since it has been proven that the global climate has been slightly cooling over the past decade, does that mean commercial air travel will be a smoother ride?