Just a few weeks ago, the temperature got so high in Arizona that planes couldn’t safely take off or land from the Phoenix airport. While this might seem like a one-off event, climate change experts are warning that delays like this are only going to increase as our climate gets hotter, forcing us to change plans or even cancel future vacations.
According to The Washington Post, rising temperatures around the globe are not only already affecting air travel, but only getting worse. With the planet’s temperature rising, more and more flights will be delayed, canceled or have fewer passengers in order for the planes to safely fly, which means that your dream vacation might not happen.
People who fly in and out of countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar already know how these delays can affect them, with flights taking off in the evening or even overnight to combat rising desert temperatures.
A 2015 study on climate change and air travel also points out that by 2050, these restrictions will be far more common at airports already at risk for flight cancellations or delays. The airports at risk are already in very warm parts of the country (like AZ, LV, or TX), or have short runways, like NYC’s La Guardia (during hot weather, planes need more room to gain speed, otherwise they can’t use the wind to get airborne).
On top of an airplane’s potential inability to take off or land, climate change is also affecting an air flow known as the jet stream, causing transatlantic flights to take longer than ever before. So if you’re saving up to go backpacking or on a world adventure, it’ll take way longer than ever before as the planet continues to get warmer.
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(h/t Refinery29; photos via Sean Gallup/Getty)