Transatlantic flight times and climate change


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Transatlantic flight times and climate change
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Williams, Paul D.
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Aircraft do not fly through a vacuum, but through an atmosphere whose meteorological characteristics are changing because of global warming. The impacts of aviation on climate change have long been recognised, but the impacts of climate change on aviation have only recently begun to emerge. These impacts include intensified turbulence and increased take-off weight restrictions. Here we investigate the influence of climate change on flight routes and journey times. We feed synthetic atmospheric wind fields generated from climate model simulations into a routing algorithm of the type used operationally by flight planners. We focus on transatlantic flights between London and New York, and how they change when the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is doubled. We find that a strengthening of the prevailing jet-stream winds causes eastbound flights to significantly shorten and westbound flights to significantly lengthen in all seasons. Eastbound and westbound crossings in winter become approximately twice as likely to take under 5 h 20 min and over 7 h 00 min, respectively. For reasons that are explained using a conceptual model, the eastbound shortening and westbound lengthening do not cancel out, causing round-trip journey times to increase. Even assuming no future growth in aviation, the extrapolation of our results to all transatlantic traffic suggests that aircraft will collectively be airborne for an extra 2000 h each year, burning an extra 7.2 million gallons of jet fuel at a cost of US 22 million, and emitting an extra 70 million kg of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 7100 average British homes. Our results provide further evidence of the two-way interaction between aviation and climate change.

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travel we think of global warming will usually thinking of the fact that it's getting warmer at ground
level but in fact the temperatures are changing higher up in the atmosphere to including where
planes flying at 35 thousand feet Dallas-Fort winds and temperatures up there are
very strongly tied together and therefore the
winds are changing in response to the temperature changes I'll use study finds that
the jet stream winds along the flight route
between London and New York and getting
stronger because of climate change for example
the getting 15 % stronger in winter and this increase in the jet stream winds is
going to have impacts on people's
flights we found that transatlantic
aircraft will be in the air for an extra 2 thousand hours each year because of these changes
to the jet stream wind patterns and this is going to add about 22 million dollars to airline
fuel costs and of course it's also going to increase their C O 2 emissions so passengers will have a
significantly increased chance of the late arrivals in North America we just looked at
transatlantic flights but if other flight routes around the world this reflected by the jet stream
will set about these facts and this could just do the best bet


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