Climate change impacts on global transportation
NASA recently conducted a study on the impacts of climate change on the global transportation sector, which, by the way, is responsible for about 25 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions.
Air travel impacts
Climate change is expected to have additional impacts on the jet stream, which may lead to more erratic jet streams with shorter wavelengths. This may cause more vertical wind shear, which in turn can trigger an increase in the frequency and intensity of air turbulence, making for even bumpier flights.
airplane is taking off under grey dramatic cloudscape
A new study predicts that clear air turbulence (turbulence not associated with storms) may double by 2050 and the strength of air turbulence may increase by 10 to 40 percent.
An increase in the number of extremely hot days due to global warming will lead to more days where planes will have a more difficult time taking off since hot air is less dense, which makes it more difficult for a plane to generate lift. This can lead to more flight delays and cancellations in typically hot locations. One solution to this would be to increase the length of runways.
Shipping in the oceans and rivers
The projected increase in the frequency and intensity of flooding and droughts will have significant impacts on shipping along major rivers. This will reduce the number of days when it will be safe for barges and other ships to navigate along these rivers, which can have major impacts on the economy.
Low-water restrictions on the barge loads make for cautious navigation through the Mississippi River as evidenced by this tow passing under a Mississippi River bridge in Vicksburg, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. The unusually low water level in the lower Mississippi River has caused some barges to get stuck in the muddy river bottom, resulting in delays. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Across the far north, Arctic sea ice continues to decrease steadily in coverage and thickness during the warmer months, which is opening many shipping lanes throughout the Arctic. We have already seen an increase in ships taking the shorter route through the Arctic during the summer, which can save tremendous amounts of time and money. However, with more shipping through this region, there comes an increased risk of damage to ships, as ice is still unpredictable and the region is very remote.Report a Typo