Could Wind Farms Be Adding to Global Warming?

I personally don’t believe in man-made global warming (yet, thought I will in the future), though I DO believe in global warming.  I think the Earth cools and heats and we’re not altogether sure why all the reasons are, or if changing the cycle would be good or bad.  I simply don’t think man has outstripped nature’s ability to control temperatures – YET.  I might be wrong, or I might be right, time will tell.  I wrote an earlier post on the topic and I certainly understand both points of view.

Nonetheless, in the area of unintended consequences, I found this excerpt of an article quite fascinating:

 

 

 

 

 

BOLDED sections are taken verbatim from the article.

New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomenon that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.

Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world’s largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) and the placement of the farms.

“Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology,” Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April 29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.

FAA data shows that the number of wind turbines over the study region has risen from 111 in 2003 to 2358 in 2011, according to the study.The warming could hurt local farmers, who have already suffered through a killer drought over the past few years. Texas agriculture contributes $80 billion to the state’s economy, second only to petrochemicals, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

West Texas is a dry area that uses irrigation to grow wheat, cotton and other crops, as well as raise cattle. But increased warming can play havoc with plant growth, as well as change local rainfall patterns.

Texas wind farms produce more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity, more than double the capacity of the nearest state, Iowa, and enough to power three million average American homes, according to the American Wine Energy Association.

Again, my overall position is that the Earth is way more complicated than we understand and that temperature if effected by so many different factors, only a small portion of which is mankind.  I strongly believe in seeking alternative sources of energy to petroleum and I strongly believe in reducing pollution.  I think though that too many of us jump onto a particular theory and oversell it, often finding later we were wrong.’

The flat Earthers still have a few adherents, Earth as the center of the Universe was certainly popular.  Mankind would dissintegrate if we went over 50 miles per hour scared people from riding trains when they first came out.  As with most science, time will tell.  With global climatology, I think a lot more time will pass than we think before we KNOW anything for certain.  I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

What do you think?

2 Comments

Filed under Humor and Observations

2 responses to “Could Wind Farms Be Adding to Global Warming?

  1. Penny Bradley

    When I was really little, orange growers would put heaters in the citrus groves to keep the trees from freezing. Later on, they were made illegal because they burned kerosene and the fumes were dangerous in those amounts.

    So the farmers used blowers. Windmill type fans that blew the air around the trees, to keep them from freezing. If this was known about 50 years ago, then it is hardly a new discovery. Why didn’t they think of it sooner?

    And I agree that the climate fluctuations are normal. I suspect sun cycles.

    Like

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