Wind Turbines Impact Surface Air Temperature

06/21/2012 |

By pushing down warm air, turbine turbulence can inadvertently warm night air by up to 33 degrees F.

Wind farms appear to affect local land surface temperatures, finds new research that provides insights about the possible effects of U.S. wind turbines on local weather and climate.

“This study indicates that land surface temperatures have warmed in the vicinity of large wind farms in west-central Texas, especially at night,” says Anjuli Bamzai, program director in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funded the research.

The researchers found a night-time warming effect of up to 33 degrees F. per decade over a nine-year period, with the warming pattern mirroring the geographic distribution of the turbines.

The results could be important for developing efficient adaptation and management strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of wind power.


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