SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — It may soon take you longer and cost you more to fly across the Atlantic, thanks to climate change.
“We’ve known for a long time that aviation makes a significant contribution to climate change, but what we’ve only recently recognized, and it’s only really been in the last few years, is that climate change is gonna have some implications for aviation,” Paul Williams, an Atmospheric Scientist at the University of Reading in England said.READ MORE: Evacuation Warnings Issued for San Mateo County Areas Burned by CZU Lightning Complex Fire
Those implications can include more inflight turbulence, a harder time taking off, or in the case of the study he just completed – longer flight times. It’s because of the jet stream, which moves from west to east.READ MORE: Police Investigation of Shattered Vehicle Windows Temporarily Shuts Highway 17 Saturday
Williams says the jet stream, “can reach speeds of 200 mph at flight cruising level, and we have reason to believe the jet stream is speeding up because of climate change.”
The jet stream is driven by the temperature difference between the equator and the pole. Climate change is increasing that difference.MORE NEWS: Russian River Rubber Dam Deflated Due to Impending Storm
Airlines are looking at an additional 2,000 hours airborne annually, adding up to $20 million in additional jet fuel, and an increase in CO2 emissions of 70 million kilograms, or the equivalent output of 7000 British homes.