A study carried out by the University Of Reading has revealed little-known effects of climate change on a smooth flight. The study is led by meteorology professor Paul Williams and he cautions that the severity of the turbulence in the air could toss a passenger around if he is not properly buckled down in the seat.

The effects of climate change

New York Daily News reports that the study points to a situation where the turbulence could be as high as twice what one is accustomed to and it would be a result of climate change. The study took the help of computer models to recreate the possible impact of atmospheric changes on travel by air.

The experiment involved cranking up the carbon dioxide levels and observing the behavior of the jet stream. The logic is that under such conditions, more unstable and stronger wind shears are observed which give rise to increased turbulence.

The study has broken the level of turbulence in flight into five broad categories – (i) light (ii) light-to-moderate (iii) moderate (iv) moderate-to-severe and (v) severe. The corresponding increase in these categories would be 59 percent, 75 percent, 94 percent, 127 percent and 149 percent respectively.

The future could be turbulent

The above figures will certainly sound the alarm bells. It is well known that severe turbulence usually ha an adverse effect on even the most seasoned and frequent fliers.

They, along with flight attendants, have to get hospitalized when they face such turbulence in flight and if and when it goes up to 149 percent, the problem would be a real one.

The study believes that these figures are just indications of the quality of life one would have to get accustomed to when flying at an altitude of 39,000 feet.

Of course, it will not happen immediately but, by 2050 it could become a reality unless realization sets in.

Climate change is a modern day phenomenon and it cannot be wished away. Environmentalists continue to collect data from various sources to prove that, unless checked in time, climate change can lead to major problems for all living beings on the earth.

Global warming and climate change are inter-related and, the study on turbulence in flight by the University of Reading is an eye opener - it shows that its effects would be felt in the air too. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to take necessary timely measures to prevent climate change from getting the upper hand and falling prey to turbulence in the air.