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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Science Of Why It's Too Hot For Some Planes To Fly In The Southwest U.S.

The Science Of Why It

Across the southwest United States, heat experienced "less than once per year on average" is happening, and it is dangerous. Ironically, a new paper released Monday in the peer-review journal Nature Climate Change found that extreme heat like that being observed in the Southwest U.S. and in Portugal will become more common and intense.  The study also finds that the number of people globally affected by 20 days or more of intense heatwaves (dangerous temperature and humidity) will jump from 1 in 4 currently to 3 out of 4 by 2100.


This is consistent with a 2016 National Academy of Science report that concluded that contemporary heatwaves are increasingly linked to climate change. Such heat is obviously a human health concern, but there is another disruption that you may not think about. Extreme heat affects air travel. Believe it or not, it is unsafe to operate many of the airplanes currently in use by major airlines when temperatures are this hot, and science explains why.


The Arizona Republic reported that around 50 flights for Tuesday were cancelled at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. These were primarily regional flights. According to The Arizona Republic


"a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. Tuesday's forecast for Phoenix includes a high of 120 degrees, and the flights that are affected were to take off between 3 and 6 p.m.....Larger jets that fly out of Sky Harbor have higher maximum operating temperatures: Boeing, 126 degrees, and Airbus, 127 degrees."


Full story at http://bit.ly/2sW02zo


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