Brace Yourself: Severe Turbulence and Climate Change Go Hand in Hand

Brace Yourself: Severe Turbulence and Climate Change Go Hand in Hand

Expect more bumpy flights.

That feeling of weightlessness as your plane hits turbulence can be scary, and new research suggests it might be happening more often. This might be because severe turbulence and climate change are connected. A recent incident involving a Singapore Airlines flight encountering severe turbulence, which tragically resulted in a fatality, highlights the potential dangers.

Also read: Singapore Airlines Turbulence Incident Causes Emergency Landing

Severe turbulence and climate change may be connected

Severe Turbulence Climate Change

What exactly is turbulence, and why might we see more of it in the future?

Turbulence occurs when airflow disrupts the smooth journey of an airplane. This can be caused by jet streams, mountains, or even thunderstorms. The most concerning type is “clear-air turbulence,” which is invisible and unpredictable for pilots.

While the exact cause of the Singapore Airlines incident is still under investigation, a growing body of research suggests a link between climate change and increased turbulence. Studies indicate that a warming planet could lead to a doubling or tripling of severe turbulence in jet streams over the coming decades. Some areas are already experiencing more bumps, with clear evidence of increased clear-air turbulence in recent years.

World’s most turbulent flight paths

Image credit: travellinglight via Canva Pro

  • Santiago (SCL) – Santa Cruz (VVI)
  • Almaty (ALA) – Bishkek (FRU)
  • Lanzhou (LHW) – Chengdu (CTU)
  • Centrair (NGO) – Sendai (SDJ)
  • Milan (MXP) – Geneva (GVA)
  • Lanzhou (LHW) – Xianyang (XIY)
  • Osaka (KIX) – Sendai (SDJ)
  • Xianyang (XIY) – Chengdu (CTU)
  • Xianyang (XIY) – Chongqing (CKG)
  • Milan (MXP) – Zurich (ZRH)

While turbulence might not be pleasant, a little preparation and following safety instructions can go a long way in ensuring a smooth (or at least smoother) journey. The good news is that turbulence, even severe turbulence, is rarely catastrophic. The most important thing you can do as a passenger is follow the crew’s instructions and keep your seatbelt fastened throughout the flight.

Also read: Singapore to Embrace Sustainability with World’s First Zero Energy Hotel

So, the next time you hit some bumps, remember: it’s not just you, and the warming world might be playing a role. It might be scary to think that the severe turbulence and climate change might go hand in hand. But by staying informed and prepared, you can weather the storm (or turbulence) and reach your destination safely.

Featured image credit: Tookapic via Canva Pro

About Author

Anne Mercado
Anne Mercado

Anne is your go-to girl if you want to talk about all things beauty, fashion and adventure. Her creative expression would be through writing and curating photos. Exploring different places and immersing herself in diverse cultures is her idea of fun. If you ask her to describe what her perfect day is, her answer would be by the beach with a book on her hand enjoying a nice margarita.