New research predicts that climate change will speed up winds, forcing transatlantic flights to spend an extra two thousand hours in the air each year, and adding millions of dollars to fuel costs.
The study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at the effects of doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which will occur within the next few decades unless emissions are cut quickly.
The average jet-stream winds along the flight route between London’s Heathrow airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport are predicted to become 15 percent faster in winter, increasing from 48 to 55 mph.
It is becoming clear that climate change is going to have huge consequences for aviation. Not only will we be using more fuel, but stronger mid-latitude wind shears in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere appear to be destabilizing the atmosphere and causing air turbulence to intensify.
For those of you students who rely on traveling back and forth from Europe: expect flights to become increasingly longer, more turbulent, and more expensive.