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Global response of clear-air turbulence to climate change

Storer, L. N., Williams, P. D. and Joshi, M. M. (2017) Global response of clear-air turbulence to climate change. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (19). pp. 9976-9984. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074618

Abstract/Summary

Clear-air turbulence (CAT) is one of the largest causes of weather-related aviation incidents. Here we use climate model simulations to study the impact that climate change could have on global CAT by the period 2050–2080. We extend previous work by analyzing eight geographic regions, two flight levels, five turbulence strength categories, and four seasons. We find large relative increases in CAT, especially in the midlatitudes in both hemispheres, with some regions experiencing several hundred per cent more turbulence. The busiest international airspace experiences the largest increases, with the volume of severe CAT approximately doubling over North America, the North Pacific, and Europe. Over the North Atlantic, severe CAT in future becomes as common as moderate CAT historically. These results highlight the increasing need to improve operational CAT forecasts and to use them effectively in flight planning, to limit discomfort and injuries among passengers and crew.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:72272
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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