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Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg blames climate change for rise in flight turbulence

Pete Buttigieg blames climate change for rise in flight turbulence
Source: Video Screenshot

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg blamed climate change for the rise in severe turbulence on commercial flights. He noted that this phenomenon has increased significantly over recent decades, NY Post reported.

Transport Secretary Buttigieg calls for reevaluation of weather response and infrastructure strengthening amid rise in severe flight turbulence

Buttigieg, 42, said that top officials will need to “reevaluate” how to handle these severe weather events in the future and that the US needs to strengthen its domestic infrastructure.

“The reality is, the effects of climate change are already upon us in terms of our transportation,” Buttigieg said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“We’ve seen that in the form of everything from heat waves that shouldn’t statistically even be possible threatening to melt the cables of transit systems in the Pacific Northwest,” he went on before citing “indications that turbulence is up by about 15%.”

A study published in 2019 in the journal Nature found that there was a 15% increase in vertical shear within jet streams since the late 1970s.

Recent air turbulence incident and aviation safety

Just last Tuesday, Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, traveling from London to Singapore, experienced severe turbulence. This incident resulted in injuries to over 30 passengers and is suspected to have caused the death of a British man, possibly due to a heart attack.

“To be clear, something that extreme is very rare. But turbulence can happen and sometimes it can happen unexpectedly,” Buttigieg explained.

“This is all about making sure that we stay ahead of the curve, keeping aviation as safe as it is. It’s not for nothing that it became the safest form of travel in America. We’ve got to treat that not as some mission accomplished.”

Since becoming the head of the Department of Transportation, Buttigieg has made it clear that he’s determined to tackle climate change. However, he’s also had to deal with a range of transportation issues, including problems with Boeing, and shortages of workers like air traffic controllers.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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