Reuters posted a story yesterday with this headline, “Wind farms may have warming effect – research.” I’m sorry if you are offended that I find this hilarious, but I do.
The article reports:
Researchers at the State University of New York at Albany analysed the satellite data of areas around large wind farms in Texas, where four of the world’s largest farms are located, over the period 2003 to 2011.
The results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed a warming trend of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade in areas over the farms, compared with nearby regions without the farms.
“We attribute this warming primarily to wind farms,” the study said. The temperature change could be due to the effects of the energy expelled by farms and the movement and turbulence generated by turbine rotors, it said.
“These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate,” the authors said.
First of all, I do not believe global warming (if it is occurring) is man-made–I think it reflects nature climate cycles. One of the greatest warming periods was during the Middle Ages, and there certainly was not a lot of carbon emission during that period.
The article concludes:
The authors of the study released on Sunday said: “Given the present installed (wind farm) capacity and the projected installation across the world, this study draws attention to an important issue that requires further investigation.”
“We need to better understand the system with observations and better describe and model the complex processes involved to predict how wind farms may affect future weather and climate.”
Commenting on the study, Steven Sherwood, co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said: “Daytime temperatures do not appear to be affected. This makes sense, since at night the ground becomes much cooler than the air just a few hundred metres above the surface. The wind farms generate gentle turbulence near the ground that causes these to mix together, thus the ground doesn’t get quite as cool.” (Edited by Pravin Char)
The bottom line here is very simple–we just don’t know as much as we think we do! I am not sure we will ever find a ‘perfect’ way to generate energy, but we need to understand that energy is needed and right now we need to embrace any form of energy that will give America energy independence.