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Home / Articles / Boulderganic / Environment Today /  Wind Farms Warming Texas
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Monday, April 30,2012

Wind Farms Warming Texas

New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena 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.

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This "new study" of the effect of local air mixing at the site of a wind farm says nothing about wind energy and global climate, and casts no doubt on all the other studies that find wind power is one of the best ways to address climate change. Local air mixing has nothing to do with climate, because no heat or heat-trapping gases are being added to the atmosphere.

To clarify the facts:

-Wind plants do not contribute to climate change, and in fact they are one of the leading technologies preventing climate change by avoiding fossil fuel use and the emission of greenhouse gases
-All studies have found that any impact wind plants may have on local weather is trivially small.

Read our full fact check on the Into the Wind Blog at http://bit.ly/IlEg8t

 

 
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