What do warming temperatures mean for the future of safe air travel?

Listen | 21:15

In the past week, two incidences of severe air turbulence have made international headlines.

More than 100 people were injured and one man died last week when a Singapore Airlines plane flying from London to Singapore hit an unexpected air pocket, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Bangkok.

Five days later, on Sunday, six passengers and six crew members were injured following turbulence on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Ireland.

Turbulence has always a been a risk factor in aviation, but the ferocity of the sudden extreme turbulence experience on the Singapore Airlines flight was out of the ordinary.


However, is this type of extreme, clear-air turbulence becoming more common?

And are climate change and warming air currents making turbulence worse?

Irish Times environment and science editor Kevin O’Sullivan joins the podcast to discuss the impact of climate change on air travel, while flight attendant Paula Gahan reflects on why she thinks severe flight turbulence is becoming more common.

Today, on In the News, is climate disruption making turbulence more extreme?

Presented by Sorcha Pollak. Produced by John Casey.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast