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Alarming studies: global warming caused by wind turbines?

Wind turbines not only destroy the cultural landscape, but also contribute to further warming of the climate, report the „Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten“ on October 20, 2022.

Opponents of wind power have always known and been mocked, but now serious studies are proving them right: wind turbines can apparently really increase global warming. They may even trigger droughts (German business news, October 19, 2022).

Global warming by wind turbines through the wake effect

The fact that wind turbines are environmentally friendly was previously considered almost undisputed by the general public. Some residents were only bothered by their noise and appearance. But that’s probably not their biggest problem. The latest findings suggest that at least larger wind farms are heating up the climate regionally and thus increasing the risk of local droughts. Among other things, a study by ArcVera Renewables shows that the wind turbines inhibit precipitation in their area and increase the temperature. Both can lead to a drought. Thus, the interactions between a wind turbine and its surrounding air layers strongly affect the moisture and heat flows between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere.

The wind turbines slow down the air flow as it hits the rotor and swirls it around as it leaves. This is a problem, especially for large wind farms. They remove moisture from the atmosphere and additionally heat the ground. The complex exchange of air creates turbulence, which dries out the surrounding fields and meadows. The physical process is called the wake effect, is particularly observed in summer and is now considered to be well documented with data. The wake effect increases with higher wind turbines and larger rotor blades. There are more studies on the subject. Meteorologists from Harvard University carried out one and published it on ScienceDirect in 2018 under the title „Climatic impacts of wind power“. The climate in the vicinity of US onshore wind farms was examined. The Harvard researchers demonstrated that the overturning of natural temperature layers in the vicinity of the wind farms studied causes higher average temperatures and lower soil moisture. Accordingly, the turbine effect during the day moves cold air from higher air layers down and warmer air, including moist soil air, up. The opposite effect occurs at night. This significantly increases the average temperature two meters above the ground.

Original Text and more here.

Title-Image by: Wind farms are suspected of triggering droughts. (Photo: dpa)


Veröffentlicht von Karlheinz W. Gernholz

Dipl. Ing. Architect (Germany) Structural Engineering/ Construction management/ International experience mainly in Arabic countries, especially Tunisia

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