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Turbulence

Bad news for anxious flyers – scientists have predicted that serious flight turbulence will increase threefold by 2050.

Researchers at the University of Reading believe climate change is to blame for the dramatic increase.

The group tested their theory by using supercomputer simulations and found that popular flight paths will be the worst affected with turbulence over the North Atlantic set to rise by 180 per cent, Europe 160 per cent and North America 110 per cent.

The type of turbulence researcher looked at (clear air turbulence) does not threaten to bring down planes – though it can cause injury to passengers and crew.

Professor Paul Williams, the study's lead researcher, said: “This problem is only going to worsen as the climate continues to change.

“Our study highlights the need to develop improved turbulence forecasts, which could reduce the risk of injuries to passengers and lower the cost of turbulence to airlines.”

What's more, the cost of flying is expected to increase as a result of climate change, with transatlantic flights expected to take longer due to changes in the temperature-controlled plane mechanisms.

So basically, get all your travelling out of the way now, because we are all probably going to be too poor and scared to do it in a few years.

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If the thought of turbulence has you reaching for a parachute, then it might be worth taking the following advice into account when booking your next flight.

Responding to a question posed on Quora, Bruno Gillissen, an airline pilot, revealed that the worst place to sit should the plane encounter turbulence is the back.

Referring to four colleagues for confirmation on this one, Bruno said: "All four agreed upon the back of the plane being the worst place. All pilots would agree with this as well I think."

Elaborating further, Bruno told anxious flyers that if they hoped to avoid the worst of a bumpy flight, they should opt for the front of the cabin when booking.

"Three out of the four were convinced the least turbulence is felt in the very front; only one of them pointed to somewhere over the wings," he wrote.

"The three female flight attendants agree with most airline crew that the least turbulence is in the front of the airplane. That is consistent with my experience," Bruno confirmed.

And if you're wondering why there wasn't a unanimous verdict, Bruno sugested it was down to lack of experience on the part of those involved.

"The three who had no doubt it was the front of the plane were female flight attendants with more experience. The one who disagreed and opted for the wing zone was a junior male flight attendant."

Well, that's good enough for us – to the front!

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