The climate crisis poses a clear and present danger to the human race and our planet. Chief technology officers of aircraft manufacturers agree. The effects of climate change are already being felt by aviation, from the increasing winds and shear in the jet stream to the increase in turbulence. While the demand for air travel should not be ignored, we should reduce the amount of carbon we emit to help the environment.
Air travel emits more CO2e than a car
Climate change is making flying more dangerous and expensive, but there are ways to offset your flight’s impact. For example, investing in carbon offset projects somewhere else in the world will reduce the emissions from your flights. However, these projects will only offset some of your carbon footprint. In order to truly offset your flight’s carbon footprint, you must reduce the number of flights you take.
Changing the composition of jet fuel is also an option. Researchers have discovered that jet fuel can be made from carbon dioxide and water. By changing the composition of jet fuel, we can reduce emissions and limit the amount of pollution in the air. This is possible by using renewable electricity and “power-to-liquid” fuels.
As the temperature rises, planes will become less stable, making them more difficult to take off. Higher temperatures also make the air less dense, which reduces lift on the wing. As a result, planes will need more runway distance to reach minimum takeoff speed. This could lead to fuel savings for long-distance flights.
Winds will increase the amount of shear in the jet stream
Scientists say that planetary warming will increase turbulence, making flying more hazardous. They say that the jet stream that planes use for navigation is more likely to become sheared and erratic, causing more disruptions to planes. This problem has been exacerbated by inadequate weather reporting and outdated guidance. Experts say that turbulence can cause planes to deviate from their intended path and can even result in injuries.
The jet stream is driven by the temperature difference between the north and south poles. As this difference increases, the jet stream will change to make flying eastward faster and flying westward slower. This will alter flight times, which means that airlines will have to make more changes to flight schedules. It will also make flying in the jet stream area a different experience, which may mean more delays for passengers.
The aviation industry is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. According to scientists at the University of Oxford, planes emit 100 times more CO2 per hour than public transportation. As a result, aviation accounts for 2.4% of the world’s total CO2 emissions.
Turbulence will be exacerbated by climate change
Turbulence in the air is already a growing problem, but climate change is set to increase the severity of these conditions. The change in global temperature will cause jet stream instabilities to increase and pockets of rough air to form at high altitudes. This, in turn, will make turbulence more common and deadly. Climate change scientists are trying to predict how turbulence will change and how it will affect plane travel.
Scientists have concluded that global projections show that climate change will exacerbate the severity of turbulence. A recent study found that global turbulence is already on the rise, and it is expected to grow by as much as five percent per year by 2050. Severe turbulence can be particularly dangerous, as it involves forces that are much stronger than gravity and can throw passengers around the cabin.
Thermal turbulence is a common occurrence during hot summer days. Heat from the sun heats the surface unevenly, causing a bumpy atmosphere. Rocky areas and barren ground heat faster than sandy or water areas. These bumpy conditions are caused by isolated convective currents, and these currents extend up to the cloud tops.
Demand reduction should not be taboo
Aviation demand reduction should not be a taboo subject, especially as emissions from air travel continue to rise at an alarming rate. We cannot continue to support aviation’s unsustainable growth while climate change continues to wreak havoc on the planet. We need policymakers to stop championing endless aviation growth and help decarbonise the sector.
According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, only a small fraction of the world population flies frequently. In countries like the US, about half the population flies at least once a year. Another estimate is that 12 to 15 percent of the world’s population flies regularly. If all of us took regular flights, this would equate to more than 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions that the United States emits annually.
The climate crisis makes flying more dangerous for passengers and can even cause some people to decide to abandon flying altogether. Luckily, Greta Thunberg’s stance has helped to create a culture of “flight shame” in Sweden. The term reflects the guilt many people feel when booking a flight. This has resulted in reductions of up to eight percent of passengers at Sweden’s busiest airports between January and April of this year.