01 May 2012

Now That’s What You Call Ironic*

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

The pretense of knowledge continually displayed by those who purport to be the most knowledgeable about how the world works—people generally known as scientists—continues to astound.  In this case, it appears that no scientists had considered that gathering energy, here in the form of harvesting wind, generates heat, which could then be transferred to the ground, altering surface temperature which in turn impacts air temperature, and ultimately has some effect on weather patterns.  It is even more astonishing that no proponent of wind power had apparently considered the fact that wind farms need federal subsidies might just indicate that, when all things are said and done, harvesting energy from wind is not the most efficient way of gathering energy.  Stated another way, it is astonishing that there weren’t any scientists who ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, the market was already doing a pretty efficient job of ensuring energy production in the most environmentally friendly way.  It’s not like pollution—in this case, waste heat—is good for businesses since it simply represents wasted resources.  But I digress.

Anyhow, this news account should be further proof of just how intellectually bankrupt the modern environmental movement is, particularly the anthropogenic global warming wing.  And then to hear the news that they are actually making the problem worse is beyond belief.  Oh wait…

* Title inspired by this.


  1. 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

  2. Ha, Got to love the global warming people. AWEAJason's Logic. Actually being able to measure an increase in air temperature at a spot due to the addition of wind farms isn't warming but a climate model that hasn't shown any warming in the last ten years and is consistently wrong is evidence of warming. If wind farms make the local area warmer, and you put them everywhere, then everywhere will be warmer. That would be "Global Warming"

  3. @AWEAJason- having witnessed how wind plants are shipped and assembled (their parts are shipped on trucks), it is quite dishonest to say that don't use fossil fuels. And if surface temperatures are increasing, does that not, by definition, mean that temperatures are rising? Also, it doesn't matter that wind plants don't add "heat-trapping gases" to the atmosphere if they are adding heat that can be trapped in heat-trapping gases.

    @Scott- well said.