Talking Colorado Climate Change: Rising Temps, Shorter Ski Seasons And Possibly More Air Turbulence

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Photo: Climate Buddies
Scientists say 2016 was the fifth-warmest year on record in Colorado, which impacts places like Great Sand Dunes National Park.

How often have you cringed when you heard an airline pilot or flight attendant come on the P.A. system to inform you that there was turbulence in the air? Turns out those announcements may become more commonplace, because of climate change.

A study from England's University of Reading finds turbulence could get two or three times worse if carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise. Should those amounts double over present levels, light turbulence would increase by 59 percent, and severe turbulence by 149 percent annually, the study says.

In other climate change news, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Colorado Climate Center report that 2016 was the fifth-hottest year on record in the state, with temperatures averaging 47.3 degrees, 2.7 degrees above normal. Worldwide, 2016 was the hottest year since scientists began tracking data in 1880.

Scott Denning, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, and Jim White, director the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado Boulder, discussed these and other climate change issues in the news with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.