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Airlines Facing Climate Change

“Too Hot to Fly? Climate Change May Take a Toll on Air Travel” NY Times Article By: Zach Wichter

Day by day, climate change is proving to be a huge concern for individuals and companies worldwide. Although the media is constantly reminding people to do their part to lessen the negative effects on the environment, little has been done to make substantial change. What is the breaking point which will cause companies to take climate change seriously? For many businesses, money is the main contender.

Today, airlines make up roughly 2% of emissions each year and although this percentage remains fairly low, it is still capable of causing great damage. The constantly increasing rate of carbon emissions in the atmosphere could ultimately result in a massive decline in the number of aircrafts capable of successful take-offs. As the air temperature is rising, the molecules in the air are becoming far sparser which makes it increasingly more difficult for planes to lift into the air during take-off. This means that plane take-offs are taking much longer and pilots are needing longer runways in order to actually get off the ground. Researchers are estimating that as temperatures continue to increase worldwide, many airports will no longer be useful as planes will not be able to fly with such short tracks.

            This past summer in 2020, Phoenix, Arizona had experienced the effect of climate change at its airports. Having that this issue is already existing today, there is no question that the conflict will continue to worsen unless serious action is taken to limit the production of carbon emissions in the air. However, as we have seen in the past, great changes tend not to occur within companies unless the incentive is high. In this case, airports may be forced to shut down entirely if the tracks and aircrafts are unable to accommodate the increasing temperatures. This would result in a substantial loss for numerous airlines. Despite the countless negative impacts which climate change has had on the world, it is sad yet unsurprising to see that large corporations tend to only take action when the benefits of doing so are in their favor.

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