Turbulence strong enough to throw unbuckled passengers around the cabin of a plane could become three times more common due to climate change.

That's according to scientists at the University of Reading, which has conducted a pioneering study into the relationship between anthropogenic climate change and transatlantic clear-air turbulence, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The study examined several different turbulence strengths and looked at how they might change in future.

The results revealed that the average amount of light turbulence in the atmosphere is likely to increase by 59 per cent, light-to-moderate turbulence by 75 per cent, moderate turbulence by 94 per cent, moderate-to-severe by 127 per cent, and severe by 149 per cent.

Climate change is generating stronger wind shears within the jet stream and causing the atmosphere to become more unstable, the report claims.

"Our new study paints the most detailed picture yet of how aircraft turbulence will respond to climate change," said Dr Paul Williams, who conducted the research.

"For most passengers, light turbulence is nothing more than an annoying inconvenience that reduces their comfort levels, but for nervous fliers even light turbulence can be distressing.

"However, even the most seasoned frequent fliers may be alarmed at the prospect of a 149 per cent increase in severe turbulence, which frequently hospitalises air travellers and flight attendants around the world."