Study: More pollution means more air turbulence

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08:46 PM April 10th, 2013

April 10th, 2013 08:46 PM

LONDON— Buckle up.

Researchers say that more pollution is likely to mean bumpier flights for trans-Atlantic travelers, explaining that models show increased turbulence over the north Atlantic as carbon dioxide levels rise.

University of East Anglia climate expert Manoj Joshi says that scientists have long studied the impact of the carbon-heavy aviation industry on climate change. Unusually, he said, “we looked at the effect of climate change on aviation.”

In a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change Joshi and his University of Reading colleague Paul Williams ran a climate simulation which cranked up the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to twice its pre-industrial level.

What they found was a 10 to 40 percent increase in the median strength of turbulence over the North Atlantic in winter months.

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