Latest Global Warming Culprit: Wind Farms

Study finds air around wind farms 1.4 degrees warmer

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2012 4:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – From the damned-if-you-do department: A new study has found that wind farms, those environmentally friendly sources of clean, renewable energy, could be contributing to global warming, reports the Telegraph. The problem is that the giant propellers cause the air to circulate more. That means that during the night warmer air from higher up in the atmosphere is pulled down to mix with cooler ground temperatures. The net effect is higher temperatures.

Satellites have shown that the air around parts of Texas that are home to four of the world's largest wind farms went up nearly 1.4 degrees when the wind farms were built. But experts warn people not to get too carried away by these latest findings. “Overall, the warming effect reported in this study is local and is small compared to the strong background year-to-year land surface temperature changes,” said one environmental scientist.

Wind turbines line the hillside in Sheffield, Vermont.
Wind turbines line the hillside in Sheffield, Vermont.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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