Climate Change To Delay Flights [STUDY]

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Climate Change To Delay Flights [STUDY]
IMAGE: (c) University of Reading.

IOP PUBLISHING PRESS RELEASE: This release is provided on behalf of the University of Reading.

Planes flying between Europe and North America will be spending more time in the air due to the effects of climate change, a new study has shown.

By accelerating the jet stream — a high-altitude wind blowing from west to east across the Atlantic — climate change will speed up eastbound flights but slow down westbound flights, the study found. The findings could have implications for airlines, passengers, and airports.

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The study, led by Dr Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading, calculates that transatlantic aircraft will spend an extra 2,000 hours in the air every year, adding millions of dollars to airline fuel costs and increasing the risk of delays. “The aviation industry is facing pressure to reduce its environmental impacts, but this study shows a new way in which aviation is itself susceptible to the effects of climate change,” Dr Williams said.

“The bad news for passengers is that westbound flights will be battling against stro