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What? Wind energy may cause warming?

By Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters) - Large wind farms might have a warming effect on the local climate, research in the United States showed on Sunday, casting a shadow over the long-term sustainability of wind power.

Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming, which could lead to the melting of glaciers, sea level rise, ocean acidification, crop failure and other devastating effects, scientists say.

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.

The article states the obvious which is that more research is needed.  In light of this possibility, is warming still okay if it's not from pollution from fossil fuels?  


*I did not copy and paste the whole article.  Please refer to link if you are interested in reading the whole thing.


Asked by QuinnMae at 12:47 PM on Apr. 30, 2012 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (292,489 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Say it ain't so Quinn!

    Wind power might be good, but I've heard tons of negatives on it too. I certainly wouldn't want to live near one. I've read that they give off a hum that causes all kinds of problems.

    Answer by DSamuels at 2:29 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I was just thinking about this subject over the weekend. My conclusion is that I don't think I care why climate change is occurring but I DO care that something is going on and we'll have to adjust our living style to adapt appropriately to it.

    I'll wait to see the additional research on the windfarms but it would make sense, to an extent. They're HUGE, machine driven structures that are bound to generate a lot of heat to propel.

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 1:19 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I wonder what impact the higher temp has locally over the long haul. I'm not opposed to green energy, I just want efficient energy at a reasonable cost.

    I also don't have issues with trying to do what we can to keep the planet as clean as possible, but I do not favor legislation that puts a corrupt government in charge of it either. I'm just not the trusting type.  Not to mention that additional or growing government agencies means additional tax dollars necessary to fund them and until they can prove that they are worth it I think government needs to find a way to work within it's budget (as if they have even come up with one).  < but that's a subject for a different kind of question.  LOL.


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 1:24 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I think it is absolutely impossible to do anything about climate change. I think MAYBE we could slow it down but there's no way we're in a position ("we" being the government) to be anyway close to aggressive enough to do that.

    I'm of the opinion that we can only handle this on a individual level. It'll eventually impact how we get our food, fuel, etc so if we individually have a plan we can figure it out.

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 1:30 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • always there's a side effect in changes...

    Answer by GlitteribonMom at 2:04 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • personally I think it's a ploy for them to try and not use as much wind energy. Main reason why I think that is, it will cut down all the coal mining and cut down on the power plants that use it. but who knows.. lol

    Answer by goofygalno1 at 2:23 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I do live right next to one but it's only the one. It doesn't hum, as far as I've noticed but many of them together might.

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 2:44 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I have heard this theory before and it does hold some water. or would that be wind?

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:56 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I guess it also bothers me that wind energy is subsidized by the government just like all other forms of energy. It ends up costing us money even when they can't produce more energy.


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 3:25 PM on Apr. 30, 2012

  • I think everything has a downside you have to look at overall benefits

    Answer by booklover545 at 3:37 PM on Apr. 30, 2012