More and more aircraft are affected by strong and dangerous turbulence. The reason is climate change. This means that it will only get worse.
– We don’t have statistics on this. So we have nothing to show that there is more disruption than usual, says press officer Anna-Lena Nordling in Norwegian.
But there are others who follow better. Over time, both meteorologists and researchers have pointed to a clear trend: Disturbance is happening more often than before, and its prediction is becoming increasingly unpredictable.
The latter is due to an increase in the type of disorder that literally comes out of the blue.
This year, turbulence was behind several dramatic aviation episodes where passengers were injured:
- In January it was 25 wounded On a plane in Hawaii.
- in March 1 person died After experiencing severe turbulence on a flight in the Northeastern United States.
- In the same month, A.J Lufthansa plane makes an emergency landing due to severe disturbances. Seven passengers were injured. Actor Matthew McConaughey, who was on board, said in a podcast that the pilots had “completely lost control” of the plane. This is what it looked like in the plane after the turbulence:
And everything indicates that the sudden shaking will only get worse as the next century approaches.
It predicts a multiplication of unexpected turmoil
In short, turbulence is turbulent air. It occurs when the air moves erratically and randomly.
They occur when the temperature or pressure in the air changes, for example. For example, when flying in areas with storms or clouds. Or if things like high mountains cause the wind to change direction. In all of these cases, pilots and radars are often notified of what is coming.
The exception is obvious air turbulence. In short, it is a kind of disorder that happens without warning.
It is this type in particular that has increased in recent years. A report from the Research Institute American Geophysical Union (AGU) In 2017, he said that clear air turbulence will double in several geographies between 2050 and 2080.
the reason? The research is clear on that.
It is clearly related to global warming
Climate change has affected atmospheric jet streams around the world. It is around these areas that net turbulence tends to occur.
AGU report from 2020 It indicates that global warming is changing the winds over both Europe and Asia. The trend has been evident for decades, according to an article from nature.
According to the AGU report, the strongest types of disorder are the ones that will increase the most.
But why does this happen?
Significant increase since 1979
Paul Williams is Professor at the University of Reading. He is also one of the authors of an article in Nature on the disorder.
The article is largely about the fact that there are vertical wind shears in the air. This can be briefly explained as sharp changes in wind direction. The increase in wind shear has the same upward curve as the turbulence.
The amount has increased by 15 percent since the observations began in 1979, Williams adds NPR.
This also applies in the airspace over Norway. The AGU report predicts a sharp increase in wind shear towards 2100.
Williams does not doubt that the increase in wind shear is due to increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. He says it affects jet streams.
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