Remember in June when it got too hot for planes to take off in Phoenix?
A new study suggests stories like that will become quite common in the not-too-distant future. Via Reuters, the study published in Climatic Change estimates that rising temperatures could leave up to one-third of planes grounded during heat waves in the coming decades. The problem centers around the wings’ capacity for lift, which is lessened in warmer conditions.
By 2100, worldwide average temperatures are expected to rise by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. To safely take off, airlines would need to make adjustments during the hottest part of the day, with 10% to 30% of planes affected. Full flights will either stay grounded until conditions cool down or lighten their loads by removing fuel, cargo, or passengers, per a release at EurekAlert. Think 12 to 13 people asked to leave a 160-person passenger plane.
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