People have been focused on climate change, particularly #Global warming, causing rising sea levels and melting ice caps along with increasing droughts and threats to freshwater resources but there is a new problem which might even get President Trump and other deniers’ attention.

Global warming and clear air turbulence.

The consequences to passengers of air turbulence such as that shown in recent videos of passengers on a Russian Aeroflot flight being thrown about the cabin will, according to scientific research only increase as global warming alters the atmospheric balance between the northern latitudes and southern air patterns.


That, in turn, has altered the steady flow of air and results in something called clear air turbulence. That kind of turbulence is as violent as that seen in thunderstorms but which does not show up on radar so pilots have no warning and can’t simply avoid it.

Even the mild temperature increases we’ve already seen at the start of long-predicted global warming is altering the flow of the jet stream in the northern hemisphere and some scientists warn that over the next half-century we can expect the sort of turbulence we sometimes encounter will become as much as 149% worse.

The jet stream is where many airplanes try to fly since it increases their speed at no cost in fuel and while it is a steady high-speed wind it is a good place to fly, but with changing airflows the boundary between the jet stream and other air is becoming less stable, causing turbulence-related events such as the recent unpleasantness to increase.


Increasing turbulence in jet stream.

Increased carbon dioxide levels, which also contribute to global warming, may have a direct affect in destabilizing the transatlantic jet stream. Because going in one direction the jet stream can provide an additional 250 mph or 402 kph increase in ground speed, nearly three thousand airplanes take advantage of it each day. Even at its weakest the jet stream moves at about 100 miles per hour or nearly 200 kilometers per hour.

With the jet stream becoming less reliable and threatening turbulence so bad that it might even endanger the structure of a plane, pilots will not be able to use it, increasing fuel costs and flight times, both of which translate into increased ticket prices, all due to global warming which America's Donald Trump and his environmental secretary both say is a Chinese hoax.

The world can expect little help from the US in combating climate change for the critical next few years since the entire Republican party is also denying the obvious scientific consensus which is accepted by most of the other world's governments.


Oil companies are major contributors to Republican election campaigns.

The jet stream varies in altitude as well as velocity and it can be anywhere from four to eight miles above ground level. Pilots wanting to avoid it will have to fly their airplanes above or below the stream since it is normally very wide. There is also a southern jet stream but it is slower and less useful for air travel.

Seat belt stays are a new consequence of global warming.

Although airplanes are not generally endangered by clear air turbulence, the same can’t be said for passengers including the 27 injured on that Aeroflot flight to Bangkok, Thailand. That incident, which put passengers in hospital with injuries as serious as broken bones, along with the warnings of increasing turbulence directly caused by global warming trends is likely to cause new directives from airlines to their pilots who will very likely keep seatbelt lights on much more, making air travel even less comfortable.

Last year the US Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) investigated double the number of clear air turbulence incidents than in 2015.

When you combine an extended period of being tightly confined on long flights with recent incidents involving passengers being dragged off airplanes and the general increase in unpleasantness and we are likely to see ever increasing incidents of air rage adding yet another reason to hate air travel. You could even see medical consequences since some people experience circulation problems and blood clots when forced to stay seated for long periods. #Clear Air Turbulence