Large Wind Farms Increase Temperatures Near Ground
Large wind farms slightly increase temperatures near the ground as the turbines’ rotor blades pull down warm air, according to researchers who analyzed nine years of satellite readings around four of the world’s biggest wind farms. The study showed for the first time that wind farms of a certain scale, while producing clean, renewable energy, do have some long-term effect on the immediate environment.
Using sensors aboard a NASA satellite, researchers systematically tracked a cluster of wind farms in central Texas as the installations grew from a few dozen turbines in 2003 to more than 2,350 by 2011. On average, the nighttime air around the wind farms became about 0.72 degree Celsius warmer over that time, compared with the surrounding area, the scientists reported in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.