Climate Change May Make Flights Last Longer

SCIENCE Flights from the UK to the US could take longer due to changes in the jet stream, according to a new study. (BBC) What is a jet stream? Use our short encyclopedic entry to find out. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including this gorgeous map of worldwide winds. Discussion Ideas The BBC article says that … Continue reading Climate Change May Make Flights Last Longer

New Maps Track the World in Flight

GEOGRAPHY A transportation planner has used flight data from around the world to create stunning kaleidoscope-style flight path visualizations. (Daily Mail) This animation offers another way to visualize similar data. Discussion Ideas: Look at the new images of global air traffic in the Daily Mail article or this BBC photo gallery. Now look at the “Lights at Night” layer in our MapMaker Interactive. Can students … Continue reading New Maps Track the World in Flight

Climate Change Could Mean Bumpier Flights

ENVIRONMENT Climate Change Could Mean Bumpier Flights Buckle up—thanks to climate change, airline passengers may be in for a bumpier ride. By 2050, airplanes could see a doubling in instances of turbulence over the North Atlantic Ocean—one of the world’s busiest flight corridors—due to shifts in the jet stream as a result of global warming, according to a new study. Discussion Ideas: This study links … Continue reading Climate Change Could Mean Bumpier Flights

A Day in the Friendly Skies

When people tell me that no one cares about geography (preposterous, I know), I show them things like this.

This short clip, which was sent to me by a former Macalester College professor and current My Wonderful World campaign member, has been “making the blogging” rounds, meaning that it has achieved some degree of viral popularity. It’s a visualization of international flights in a single 24 hour period, produced by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Switzerland. While some initially assume that the yellow flight paths depict real GPS traces, they’re actually computer-generated interpolations calculated from flight data. When overlaid on what appears to be a composite of time-elapsed satellite images (can the remote imaging geeks help me verify?), a relatively accurate picture of daily flight trends emerges.

Continue reading “A Day in the Friendly Skies”