Climate change is making it increasingly difficult for aeroplanes to take off, according to a new study published in the Climatic Change Journal.
Researchers at the University of Reading worked in collaboration with researchers in Greece to understand how changes in weather patterns due to global warming are effecting aeroplanes.
The researchers analysed more than six decades of weather patterns and aircraft data from various Greek airports.
They analysed temperature, headwind and surface conditions to calculate the take-off distance required and the maximum possible take-off weight for the planes.
According to the data, warmer air and changing winds are affecting the aircraft’s ability to leave the ground, which as a result means that aircrafts now need longer distances to take off.
However, it is not possible to always extend the length of the runway, and in the future, it may be necessary to reduce the weight of the aircraft by reducing the number of passengers or the amount of fuel onboard.
Prof Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading and co-author of the study said: Warm air and slow winds make it harder for planes to get off the ground, and climate change appears to be making both of these factors more common.
Our study is the first to combine measurements of air temperatures and wind speeds to calculate the precise impact on takeoffs.
Reducing passenger numbers clearly result in a financial hit to airlines.
Reducing the amount of fuel being used is an alternative way of shedding weight, but limits the distance that can be travelled.
Another possibility is extending runways to allow higher take-offs speed, but this would mean covering these holiday paradises in even more tarmac.
None of these are attractive solutions, but we may have to resort to them in the future unless climate change is curbed.
In related news, recent research conducted by Which? revealed that flying with British Airways can increase your carbon footprint by almost double.
Photo Credit – Pixabay