Bumpy flights ahead?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

a smooth landing!

You might have seen in the papers this morning, or heard it on TV, that it is projected that transatlantic flights may get a little more turbulent. Except that the way it was reported was in such a way to nervous flyers of some of us.
Talk about laying it with a trowel.
Dr Paul Williams from the University of Reading is a researcher in atmospheric science. Yesterday in Vienna he suggested – not for the first time – that increased CO2 in the atmosphere might cause differing wind patterns which could lead to more turbulence.
Why does he suggest this? Because he has built a new computer model projecting weather and climate models with the potential for improved forecasts. Last November he was awarded £70,000 by the Leverhulme Trust to help his research into the effects clear-air turbulence, which does injures hundreds of passengers each year. Dr Williams says he will use the money to develop better computer models.
For a start the press reported this story as though there will be rough flying from now on. They also didn’t really point out that even if the model is correct (and that’s a pretty big “if”) then it won’t be until decades from now that there is likely to be sufficient CO2 to cause this. Finally it presupposes that aircraft manufacturers and airlines will not come up with some way of minimising any turbulence.
But in the meantime if you want to get panicky about flying in 30 years’ time, go ahead. The rest of us will recall other press stories that got “sexed-up” as well.

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