Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: Media wrongly frighten air passengers about turbulence

The climate scaremongers: Media wrongly frighten air passengers about turbulence


READERS will aware that a British man died of a heart attack when his Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over Burma last week.

Quite disgracefully the media, almost in unison, linked the tragedy with climate change. The BBC, for instance, claimed that some researchers think that climate change has made turbulence more likely, and Sky commented: ‘It’s been understood for some time that climate change is increasing turbulence during flights, and the trend is set to worsen according to reports.’ 

All the media claims are based on a solitary study last year by Professor Paul Williams of Reading University. Titled ‘Evidence for Large Increases in Clear-Air Turbulence Over the Past Four Decades’, it stated that ‘at an average point over the North Atlantic, the total annual duration of clean-air turbulence increased by 17 per cent from 466.5 hr in 1979 to 546.8 hr in 2020. Similar increases are also found over the continental USA.’

Both the title and the abstract were highly misleading, because the study also found that air turbulence had reduced in large parts of the world as well, notably including Burma, where the latest incident occurred. Nevertheless the study got the media headlines, which was always the object of the exercise.

In fact the study was solely based on worthless computer modelling. Worse, the actual data we have on air turbulence accidents over the US totally contradicts Williams’s computer models.

In 2021 the US National Transportation Safety Board carried out a full imvestigation into turbulence-related accidents, and found they had not become more frequent since the start of proper records in 1989:

Unlike Williams’s make-believe study, this one used real world data from flight logs and so on. Accidents were counted only when there was a severe injury or aircraft damage. Consequently the data is robust, rather than being calculated from subjective assessments.

It really is shameful that both the press and broadcast media are prepared  unnecessarily to distress air travellers, who may already be apprehensive about flying. Particularly when it is done to further a political agenda.

This whole media circus is part of a much wider problem though. Far too often the media bases their alarming climate stories on computer models instead of the real world, which usually tells a different story. And there are plenty of grant-addicted, grifting scientists out there to provide them with the ammunition they want.

Lancet climate change report is laughable tripe

EVERY year the Lancet publishes a report on climate change. Invariably it purports to show how climate change is damaging our health at home and around the world.

Previous reports have generated headlines like ‘grave and mounting threat to health’ and ‘climate change is severely impacting people’s health around the world’. And each report has been easily disproved by real world data.

This year’s edition is no exception. It focuses on Europe, and according to the Telegraph: ‘New diseases are spreading, the hayfever season is starting earlier and even the hours in which it is possible to practise sports are changing. The common denominator behind all these and other changes to human health is climate change.

‘A new report in the Lancet has found that warming temperatures in Europe have far-reaching impacts on health. “Climate change is here, in Europe, and it kills”, the 2024 Europe Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change said.

‘In 2022, which also saw extreme heat, upwards of 70,000 people in Europe were killed during the summer months. The Lancet report found that Southern Europe tends to be more affected by heat-related illnesses, wildfires, food insecurity and drought.’

The claim of heatwave deaths, which is central to the report, is rather undermined by another Lancet study just last year, which found that deaths from cold in Europe exceeded those from heat by a factor of ten.

Even in Southern Europe, cold kills many more people than heat:

The rest of the Lancet study is just laughable tripe. They claim that people will get less exercise because it is too hot, but it is cold wet weather which really stops people getting out and about. They also mention wildfire activity, even though it has been reducing in Europe in recent decades, not increasing. And claims that diseases like malaria and dengue will move north have long been dismissed by experts in the subject. They even say that global warming will make hayfever worse!

The report is not about science, it is all about politics, as they themselves admit:

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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