Climate Change Set To Take Fliers On A Bumpy Ride

If you’re one of those people who start turning green every time your airplane hits a bit of turbulence, you’re in for a rough ride in the coming years. According to a new study, air turbulence is likely to go up by 10-40 percent by 2050, causing more passengers to reach for the airsickness bag.

The report published in the Nature Climate Change journal says that clear air turbulence – a sharp movement of air that happens even in good weather – is likely to get worse in the coming decades because of climate change.

The report’s authors studied the air over the North Atlantic, which is one of the busiest flight corridors in the world. They believe that as greenhouse gases increase, clear air turbulence will also rise – putting more planes in danger’s way. What’s more, this particular type of turbulence doesn’t show up on an airplane’s radar, making it tough for pilots to dodge. Planes that are given a heads up by other aircraft might be able to detour around the turbulence, but that would mean longer flight times and using up more fuel, which in turn contributes to the climate change problem.

But don’t start popping the motion sickness pills just yet. Some scientists say the study isn’t conclusive and believe there needs to be more research into the matter.

[Photo credit: Flickr user woodleywonderworks]

Boston Logan airport going green – runways included

Usually, when people think about “green initiatives”, they think recycled toilet paper and dimmed lighting. At Boston Logan, they are taking an entirely new approach – starting with their newest runway repaving.

Instead of repaving the runway with the common asphalt mix, Logan is using a European developed warm-mix covering. The mix is heated at much lower temperatures, and the environmental impact is reduced by 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide, and a whopping 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

As with most new airport technologies, this one had to pass an FAA testing procedure before getting the green light.

In addition to its newest asphalt, the airport operator is also investing heavily in replacing diesel powered baggage vehicles with electric versions. The airport granted Delta Airlines a $3 million loan to invest in the carts and baggage belt trucks. The new electric vehicles will be used at Terminal A – the world’s first LEED certified airport terminal.