Monday, April 30, 2012

Study: Wind Farms Warming Local Climates

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Researchers have shown that large wind farms affect local temperatures, particularly at night, by pulling in hot air and pushing it to the ground.

The BBC reports that researchers used data obtained from satellites to measure ground temperatures near wind farms and found that they had indeed risen.

"These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate," read the study, which was conducted in west Texas, where wind farms have expanded from 111 in 2003 to 2,358 in 2011.

Temperatures were more elevated at night when cool air near the ground is offset by the wind turbines. Using wind to counter night and early morning frost is often used by farmers on their crops.

But the study's authors were quick to add that the research should not be used to stop building wind farms, which provide clean energy, as the research is new and the warming may be beneficial.

The study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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