Monday, April 30, 2012

Will industrial wind factories be able to keep up with the rising demand for air conditioners?

In the Sunday, April 29, 2012 Wall Street Journal, this was the headline:

Large Wind Farms Increase Temperatures Near Ground


In the Sunday, April 29 edition of The Telegraph, this was the headline:

Wind Farms can cause climate change, finds new study

According to the reports, on average the nighttime air around wind farms were approximately 0.72 degrees C (1.37 F) higher than the surrounding areas.

Using sensors that are on a NASA satellite the data was compiled by researchers at the University of Illinois and the State University at Albany, NY. According to the Wallstreet Journal article, "they tracked a cluster of wind farms in central Texas as the installations grew from a few dozen turbines in 2003 to more than 2,350 by 2011."

Louise Gray the Environment Correspondent of The Telegraph (UK) wrote this:

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.