In the News: In a Warming World, Keep the Planes Running

Climate change has become more and more evident in everyday life. The rise of sea levels have become very apparent to many government officials worrying about the well being of their citizens. There has been a lot of speculation about airports and the planes that use them.

In the New York Times article, In a Warming World, Keep the Planes Running by Mike Ives he talks about the impact running planes at airports have on climate change. He mentions that these airports being so close to the seashore may have something to do with the rising sea levels. In Hong Kong, officials have been saying that the really big airports that get a lot of traffic generate a lot of heat and do not have sufficient runways anymore. Mike Ives has mentioned that the runways that are heavily used have begun to melt and have permanent damage to them. If they are too short and over used the concrete will start to melt and the pilots can no longer land and take off on them. The hotter temperatures create lower air densities which makes it harder for planes to take off because it reduces the amount of lift. This forces planes to carry less weight or take off from locations of a lower temperature.

Some solutions that airports have been creating is elongating the runways. Airports in hotter climates have decided to make the pavement longer so planes are still able to take off from that location. Other solutions have been to lighten loads and take less cargo on each airplane. The reduction of weight could be around 4% and still have a huge difference on the heat projected from the planes. Although these changes may not be in the best business interest for most airports, they must make these adjustments to prevent more damage to the runways and take them out of the business for good.

With these changes taking place, the climate change from airport and airplane heat may decrease and hopefully lower to an amount where we can still sustain our way of life.

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