Carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels has been linked torising global temperatures in a number of studies. As such, many countries are moving toward cleaner sources ofrenewable energy like wind turbines, which creates no emissions,uses no water and is considered green. However, a recent study by University of Albany researchers andother scientists indicate that large wind farms in certain areas ofthe US may be affecting local land surface temperature. To understand the potential impact of wind farms on local weatherand climate, Professor Liming Zhou and his team analyzed NASAsatellite-derived land surface temperatures of regions around largewind farms in Texas during 2003–2011. Steel Tile Forming Machine
The researchers found a nighttime warming effect over wind farms ofup to 0.72 °C per decade over the nine years in which data wascollected. Since the spatial pattern of warming mirrors thegeographic distribution of wind turbines, they attribute thewarming primarily to wind farms. Interesting enough, the year-to-year land surface temperature overwind farms also showed a persistent upward trend from 2003 to 2011- consistent with the increasing number of operational windturbines with time. “This warming effect is most likely caused by the turbulencein turbine wakes acting like fans to pull down warmer near surfaceair from higher altitudes at night,” explained ProfessorSomnath Baidya Roy at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, aco-author of the study. Overall, while the reported warming effect is local and ratherinsignificant compared to the strong background year-to-year landsurface temperature variation, the authors believe the phenomenonrequires further investigation. China Ridge Cap Roll Forming Machine
“The unit of the estimated warming effect (°C per decade)is just one simple way to quantify the wind farm impacts whilereducing the year-to-year data noise,” said Zhou. “The estimated warming trends only apply to the study regionand to the study period, and thus should not be interpolatedlinearly into other regions (e.g., globally) or over longer periods(e.g., for another 20 years). For a given wind farm, once there areno new wind turbines added, the warming effect may reach a stablelevel.” Several recent studies of the impact of wind farms on weather andclimate have utilized numerical models due to the lack ofobservations over wind farms. As numerical models arecomputationally intensive and have uncertainties in simulatingregional and local weather and climate, the authors believe remotesensing is likely the most efficient and effective way to studywind farm impacts over larger spatial and longer temporal scales. Steel Tile Forming Machine
“The study presents the first observational evidence of windfarm impacts on land surface temperature with spatial detail usingsatellite data. It represents a first step in exploring thepotential of using satellite data to quantify the possible impactsof the development of big wind farms on weather and climate,”said Prof. Chris Thorncroft. “We are now expanding this approach to other wind farms andbuilding models to understand the physical processes and mechanismsdriving the interactions of wind turbines and the atmosphereboundary layer near the surface.”.