Monday’s news of an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Bangkok that experienced extreme turbulence and injured 27 passengers, some with broken bones, was due to clear air turbulence. Unlike normal turbulence, clear air turbulence occurs without a storm system or clouds and gives pilots no warning at all. CBS spoke to one scientist about the incident and he claims that we are going to see 2-3x more occurrences that could by strong enough to hospitalize passengers by the end of the century, all due to climate change.
According to researchers, rising carbon dioxide levels could destabilize the fast moving air currents of the transatlantic jet stream, an area that currently sees up to 3,000 flights each day. They predict a 149 percent spike in severe air turbulence, along with longer travel times, increased delays and, inevitably, higher ticket prices.
Aerospace engineers also warn that while planes are meant to withstand all kinds of turbulence, more regular beatings will require frequent integrity checks. During 2016, there were 44 turbulence-related injuries investigated by the FAA, up more than double from 2015.
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