In a study published in the Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, scientists are claiming that due to climate change, the amount of turbulence that passengers in the future will increase. Based on the numbers, the amount of light turbulence will increase by as much as 59%, moderate turbulence by 94%, and severe turbulence will go up by 149%. According to the scientists, this is due to higher carbon dioxide levels that will create stronger vertical wind shears, which will ultimately make turbulence more common.
Now before you get too alarmed, it should be noted that turbulence is typically seen as more of an annoyance as opposed to be something that could take down a plane. There have been multiple articles in the past few years in which it has been explained that turbulence won’t be able to bring down an aircraft, although in cases of severe turbulence, injuries and deaths have occurred due to passengers being thrown around in the cabin, or luggage bins opening and its contents falling on passengers.
According to the study’s author, Dr. Paul Williams, “For most passengers, light turbulence is nothing more than an annoying inconvenience that reduces their comfort levels, but for nervous fliers even light turbulence can be distressing. However, even the most seasoned frequent fliers may be alarmed at the prospect of a 149 percent increase in severe turbulence, which frequently hospitalizes air travelers and flight attendants around the world.”