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Last active June 2, 2024 03:20
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Why more turbulence incidents?


Is the incidence rate of severe passenger aircraft turbulence increasing year over year?


Yes, the incidence rate of severe passenger aircraft turbulence is indeed increasing. Research suggests that air turbulence has become more common and is projected to grow even more frequent and severe due to climate change¹². Here are some key points:

  1. Increased Frequency: From 1979 to 2020, severe turbulence in some locations increased by as much as **55%**¹. This trend is consistent with the expected effects of climate change.
  2. Clear Air Turbulence: Clear air turbulence, which occurs at cruising altitudes, has become more frequent and intense. It's caused by differences in air temperature due to warmer air holding more water vapor².
  3. Risk of Injury: While most in-flight disturbances are harmless if safety procedures are followed, more intense turbulence could create stressful or dangerous flight experiences for passengers and flight attendants. Severe turbulence is expected to become two or three times more likely over the North Atlantic between 2050 and 2080¹.

In summary, climate change is contributing to the worsening turbulence trends, and passengers and crew should be aware of its potential impact on flight experiences. Stay safe and buckle up! ✈️🌎

Source: Conversation with Copilot, 6/2/2024 (1) Climate Change Is Making Airplane Turbulence More Common and Severe .... (2) Turbulence is getting worse, but deaths are rare: Number of injuries. (3) Aviation turbulence soared by up to 55% as the world warmed – new research. (4) Hazardous clear-air turbulence up 55% from 1979, study shows. (5) Flight turbulence: What is it, when does it happen and why? - BBC. (6) undefined.

Me Here are some recent AVHerald stories.

How would you explain this increased incidence to someone whose financial gain depends on hindering efforts to slow climate change, and therefore prefers to deny the impact and existence of climate change?


When discussing the increased incidence of severe passenger aircraft turbulence with someone who may be skeptical about climate change due to financial interests, it’s important to approach the conversation with respect and understanding. Here are some strategies that could be effective:

  1. Focus on Shared Values: Emphasize the importance of safety and reliability in air travel, which are likely to be common concerns regardless of one’s stance on climate change1.

  2. Use Concrete Examples: Highlight specific instances where turbulence has affected flights, causing delays, damage, or injuries. This can make the issue more tangible and less abstract1.

  3. Discuss Economic Impacts: Point out the potential financial costs associated with increased turbulence, such as higher insurance premiums, more frequent repairs, and the need for more robust aircraft designs1.

  4. Highlight Non-Climate Factors: While climate change is a significant contributor to increased turbulence, other factors like air traffic, route changes, and technological advancements also

  5. Highlight Industry Collaboration: Emphasize that airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and regulatory bodies are actively studying turbulence patterns and working together to improve safety measures. By acknowledging the collective effort, you can shift the focus away from political debates.

  6. Address Economic Opportunities: Discuss how investing in technologies to mitigate turbulence can create economic opportunities. For instance, developing more efficient flight paths or designing turbulence-resistant aircraft could lead to cost savings and competitive advantages for airlines.

  7. Explore Adaptation Strategies: Rather than framing the conversation solely around climate change, explore practical adaptation strategies. For example, improved weather forecasting and real-time turbulence detection systems can help pilots navigate turbulent areas more effectively.

Remember that engaging in a respectful dialogue is essential. While financial interests may influence opinions, presenting evidence and fostering understanding can lead to more informed decisions. 🌎✈️

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