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Climate Change Set To Take Fliers On A Bumpy Ride

If you're one of those people who start turning green every time your airplane hits a bit of turbulence, you're in for a rough ride in the coming years. According to a new study, air turbulence is likely to go up by 10-40 percent by 2050, causing more passengers to reach for the airsickness bag.

The report published in the Nature Climate Change journal says that clear air turbulence – a sharp movement of air that happens even in good weather – is likely to get worse in the coming decades because of climate change.

The report's authors studied the air over the North Atlantic, which is one of the busiest flight corridors in the world. They believe that as greenhouse gases increase, clear air turbulence will also rise – putting more planes in danger's way. What's more, this particular type of turbulence doesn't show up on an airplane's radar, making it tough for pilots to dodge. Planes that are given a heads up by other aircraft might be able to detour around the turbulence, but that would mean longer flight times and using up more fuel, which in turn contributes to the climate change problem.

But don't start popping the motion sickness pills just yet. Some scientists say the study isn't conclusive and believe there needs to be more research into the matter.

[Photo credit: Flickr user woodleywonderworks]

Filed under: News

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