Wind farms can cause climate change, study says.

By: hcubed , 11:59 AM GMT on April 30, 2012

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I'll get back to "The List", but this study was just too good to pass up:

"...Wind farms can cause climate change, according to new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures.

Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools. But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.

Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world’s largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built. This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms. It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.

Full story here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/923471 5/Wind-farms-can-cause-climate-change-finds-new-st udy.html

Here’s the paper:

Zhou, Liming, Yuhong Tian, Somnath Baidya Roy, Chris Thorncroft, Lance F. Bosart and Yuanlong Hu 2012: Impacts of wind farms on land surface temperature. Nature Climate Chnage. doi:10.1038/nclimate1505

And the abstract (bold mine):

The wind industry in the United States has experienced a remarkably rapid expansion of capacity in recent years and this fast growth is expected to continue in the future. While converting wind’s kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface–atmosphere exchanges and the transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate.

Here we present observational evidence for such impacts based on analyses of satellite data for the period of 2003–2011 over a region in west-central Texas, where four of the world’s largest wind farms are located. Our results show a significant warming trend of up to 0.72 °C per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to nearby non-wind-farm regions. We attribute this warming primarily to wind farms as its spatial pattern and magnitude couples very well with the geographic distribution of wind turbines..."

*** Amazing. Devices designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and the CO2 emitted, are actually CAUSING CAGW. I imagine that they could also check into the windfarms in California, and find the same.

Puts that proposed windfarm off the coast of England in a new light, doesn't it?

Now the environmentalists, if they're concerned about the Earth, have one more study they can use to protest the building of the farms.

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About hcubed

Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).

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