Think the news about climate change couldn’t get any worse?
Turns out it could make transatlantic flights even longer – and travelers can expect double the turbulence.
Meteorology expert Paul Williams, from the UK’s University of Reading, noticed that when carbon dioxide concentration is doubled it causes jet stream winds to strengthen.
That has a direct impact on planes flying 35,000 feet in the air.
2,000 more hours in the air
Williams studied the route between New York City’s JFK Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport.
He found that the strengthened winds could mean eastbound flights shortened to five and a half hours, but will be lengthened to beyond seven hours in the other direction.
“We found that transatlantic aircrafts will be in the air for another 2,000 hours each year,” Williams told CNN.
“And this is going to add about $22 million to airline fuel costs.”
So while we’ve all been hoping that Bombardier’s Antipode will fly us from New York to London in 11 minutes, or the Skreemr will do the journey in half an hour, it seems that – for westbound fliers at least – we’ll be waiting a while longer.