Nice Work If You Can Get It!
By Paul Homewood
You may recall the BBC report last month on a study which claimed that climate change would make transatlantic flights longer.
Matt McGrath reported:
Flights from the UK to the US could take longer due to the changes in the climate, according to a new study.
Global warming is likely to speed up the jet stream, say researchers, and slow down aeroplanes heading for the US.
While eastbound flights from the US will be quicker, roundtrip journeys will "significantly lengthen".
The University of Reading scientists believe the changes will increase carbon emissions and fuel consumption and potentially raise ticket prices.
As I pointed out at the time, other scientists such as Jennifer Francis claim the opposite, that global warming is slowing down the jet stream and thereby leading to more extreme weather.
Given that the study only found that the journey times would only be a “few minutes different each way”, and that pilots always find the best routes to maximise the benefit of the jet stream, I wondered who had paid for this junk science. Maybe the airline industry thought it worthwhile funding it?
The research was carried out by Dr Paul Williams of the University of Reading, so I asked them about the funding. They advised that the work was funded as part of a University Research Fellowship paid by the Royal Society:
So, over the eight year period the Royal Society has forked out £739K. As we know, the majority of the Society’s funding comes from the UK Government.
How useful his work is is highly debatable, since most of it seems to be based around models. But is it had any real value, I am sure the commercial airlines would be queuing up to support it.
It is not just the waste of money though. As somebody commented earlier on a different topic, we need to ask ourselves what this money could have been spent on instead.