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In the past year alone, several studies suggested that flights will become bumpier in the future, in part, because of climate change. Researchers say some occurrences earlier this year might help make that case.
In the span of a week, turbulence injured flight passengers and crew members in Billings, MT and just above Japan on a flight from San Francisco. A combined 13 crew members and passengers were hurt. On the flight into Billings, the turbulence flung a baby from its mothers arms and into a seat.
CNN decided to look into the matter, sending correspondent George Howell on a flight from Austin, TX to Chicago, IL, which he and another passenger agreed was the bumpiest flight they had been on. The fact that the flight Howell took for a piece on climate change ended up being bumpy could be a mere coincidence or a costly case of trial and error. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Paul Williams, a researcher of the University of Reading's department of meteorology isn't willing to deem climate change as the chief cause of increased turbulence, but he says it certainly won't help matters.
"We'll never be able to say that one particular person's flight experience, which was bumpy, was caused by climate change. Of course we can't," Williams said. "What we can say is that as the climate changes, the odds of encountering turbulence on your flight are increasing."
Williams says carbon dioxide is one of the key elements changing temperatures and wind speeds in jet streams, which leads to bumpier plane rides and unfortunate injuries like those experienced on a flight in South Africa that is discussed in the CNN report.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?