SUSTAINABILITY FOOD 4 THOUGHT: HOW A WARMING PLANET COULD IMPACT AIR TRAVEL
With an increase in global temperatures affecting much of the planet and many industries, few would immediately consider the impact global warming could have on air travel. According to a recent article in UK Telegraph, here are three ways it could:
More delays and cancellations
The hotter the air, the thinner it is. This means that it is harder for some planes to generate enough lift to take off. American Airlines say that it had to cancel dozens of flights from Phoenix, Arizona last month because it was too hot to take off. Researchers claim that disruptions such as these will become more common as the planet warms up.
According to a study published in Nature Climate Change, rising temperatures are increasing flight times due to variations of jet stream – the high altitude air that flows from west to east. Just one minute’s extra flight time would mean collectively planes spend around 300 000 hours longer per year burning additional jet fuel, adding to the problem.
More weight restrictions
Cruising at higher altitude levels will reduce the chance of turbulence and save fuel. If pilots wish to do so, the plane would need to be lighter meaning a greater scrutiny of weight restrictions could be on the cards. Read the full Telegraph article here.