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How a Warming Climate Will Trouble Air Travel
Rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves could force up to 30 percent of airplanes to delay takeoffs in the coming decades, causing cancellations, missed connections and other hassles for passengers, and dealing a financial blow to the industry, a new study finds.
As air warms, its density decreases. The wings of a plane moving down the runway on a hot day generate less lift. If it’s hot enough, the plane won’t be able to take off at all, according to the study, published in the journal Climatic Change.
The plane can either delay departure or lighten its load by removing fuel, cargo or passengers. The consequences could affect passengers, airlines and airports worldwide, said Radley Horton, co-author…
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