As the mantra has it, wind turbines are the perfect panacea for rising temperatures. The ever fearful fret about the planet’s temperature rising a couple of notches (apparently an increase of just 1.5°C means instant disaster and pumping it up by 2°C means an irreversible catastrophe).
Now it seems that these things are playing their part in adjusting temperatures, but not in the manner hoped for or predicted.
Study after study shows local nighttime temperatures rising by as much as 1.5°C, wherever these things are operating.
None of this would come as a surprise to grape and fruit growers who, in chillier climes, use frost fans in their vineyards and orchards to stir up the air at nighttime to prevent frosts ruining their crops.
The climate cult is driven by a (clearly burning) desire to spear millions of these things into everyone else’s backyards (not theirs, of course). So, instead of keeping a lid on global temperatures, their drive to spread wind turbines far and wide will have precisely the opposite result.
What other effects these things have on the broader climate is a matter of further debate, as David Wojick outlines below.
Do wind farms change the weather?
8 March 2022
The effect of lots of wind turbines on weather and climate is a small but active research area. Wind power converts wind energy into electricity, thereby removing that energy from the air.
The research issue of how taking a lot of energy out might affect weather or climate seems to have emerged as early as 2004. Studies range from the global climate impact down to the local effects of a single large wind facility.
Here is a nontechnical article on a key global climate scale paper in 2011: “Wind and wave farms could affect Earth’s energy balance“in New Scientist magazine, March 30, 2011. Must register to read here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028063-300-wind-and-wave-farms-could-affect-earths-energy-balance/
Here is the seminal technical paper: “Estimating maximum global land surface wind power extractability and associated climatic consequences” by L. M. Miller, F. Gans, and A. Kleidon; Earth System Dynamics, February 11, 2011. Article is open access here:
This lengthy Abstract explains the physics:
“The availability of wind power for renewable energy extraction is ultimately limited by how much kinetic energy is generated by natural processes within the Earth system and by fundamental limits of how much of the wind power can be extracted. Here we use these considerations to provide a maximum estimate of wind power availability over land. We use several different methods. First, we outline the processes associated with wind power generation and extraction with a simple power transfer hierarchy based on the assumption that available wind power will not geographically vary with increased extraction for an estimate of 68 TW. Second, we set up a simple momentum balance model to estimate maximum extractability which we then apply to reanalysis climate data, yielding an estimate of 21 TW. Third, we perform general circulation model simulations in which we extract different amounts of momentum from the atmospheric boundary layer to obtain a maximum estimate of how much power can be extracted, yielding 18–34 TW. These three methods consistently yield maximum estimates in the range of 18–68 TW and are notably less than recent estimates that claim abundant wind power availability. Furthermore, we show with the general circulation model simulations that some climatic effects at maximum wind power extraction are similar in magnitude to those associated with a doubling of atmospheric CO2. We conclude that in order to understand fundamental limits to renewable energy resources, as well as the impacts of their utilization, it is imperative to use a “top-down” thermodynamic Earth system perspective, rather than the more common “bottom-up” engineering approach.”
Their conclusion at the end is that maximizing global wind development could have as big an effect on climate as the climate models give for doubling CO2, which is a lot. Thus if you took out all the energy possible by wind the climate effects might be big. And this is just for land based wind towers, so a lot of offshore wind should add to this effect.
The “related articles” section of this paper lists several earlier articles, as well as several discussing this paper. Also, Google Scholar lists 110 newer papers that cite this one, some of which are on the topic of the weather or climate impacts of energy removal by wind power. In addition, if you click on Google Scholar’s “Related articles” button you get another hundred papers, many of which are directly on the topic of wind power affecting weather and climate.
Here is an example: “Regional climate model simulations indicate limited climatic impacts by operational and planned European wind farms” in Nature Communications, February 11, 2014.
At the extreme end, wind proponent Mark Z. Jacobson has claimed that very large arrays of offshore wind turbines off the U.S. East Coast could actually remove enough atmospheric energy to reduce the damaging energy of major hurricanes. I am not making this up and I think he wants 300,000 MW or so of huge wind machines lining the coast.
See “Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines” in Nature Climate Change, February 26, 2014. https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2120
Clearly, there is a real research question here. However, the results look to be both abstract and speculative at this point. But then, so is the rest of the climate change scare — abstract, speculative and based on questionable models.
It is both amusing and fitting that these alarming climate models find wind power to be just as scary as carbon dioxide. In wind’s case it might even be true because the generators really are sucking energy out of the air, and energy is what makes weather.
9 thoughts on “Weather Makers: How Industrial Wind Turbines Are Changing The World’s Climate”
Part of the rigging with this industry is to control the research. In this case avoidance comes into play. They will never study this impact unless they can rig the outcome.
As a wildlife expert, I have noticed a pervasive pattern of deliberately avoiding very obvious follow-up studies begging to be conducted.
What are the scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for wind turbines? I worry about the vibration in the ocean, degradation of the forests, increase in ocean temperature. What are the emissions from production of wind turbines and what happens to them when they are past their used by date. No one is talking about these issues.
Hi all, the second picture are not wind turbines, they are Frost Fans to keep frost off vines , powered by Electricity .
Correctamundo. The para above the picture relates.
Hmm… So the temperatures of the planet are expected to rise by about 1.5C, according to the Climate ‘dogma.’ And yet at the same time wind farms are raising local temperatures by 1.5C!
Could it be that these wind extortionists know this? Could Climate Change be the cover they seek for a known disruption to global weather patterns, so as to allow this industry to exist with its business model to literally extract money from thin air! Isn’t it curious that the incidence of freak weather events seems to have risen over the past decade, along with the primary rollout of industrial scale wind turbines.
I live near wind turbines, unfortunately. They were constructed nearby, much to the dismay of residents. I have witnessed how these monsters agitate approaching storms. The lightning is extremely loud and intense and has struck the turbines on more than one occasion. In fact, turbine no. 1 at this industrial ‘atrocity’ seems to have been damaged a number of times. It can be a ghostly image, not unlike staring into the carcass of a burnt out whale! It is a disturbing situation.
We as a society are now living through uncharted times, with around half a million industrial scale wind turbines spinning around the globe. Mankind has never been here before… EVER! These gigantic perpetual agitators simply did not exist, on this scale. We are interfering with forces we do not fully understand, and these surface winds exist in nature to help cool the planet down.
We interfere with these weather systems at our own peril.
Interesting theory, but has anyone with a scientific bent for finding how massive industrial wind turbines can alter the movement of air from its natural flow. Lets face it if you turn on a fan in your home to move air around that’s what it does – it interrupts the otherwise ‘natural’ flow of air, so if this is done on a massive scale such as bigger and bigger IWT projects many adjoining other such arrays surely that will cause the ‘natural’ airflow to be disrupted and alter the flow like a ripple in a pond – a flow that can go on across the globe and join others along the way – causing massive changes in the manner in which the air flows which in turn changes the atmosphere across the globe – hence the changes we are seeing in our climate – massive storms of snow and rain as well as increasing heat and cold in places that were once more temperate.
To me being a dumb old IWT opposer it seems a simple answer to the changes we are seeing around the globe that are being assigned by IWT lovers as climate change brought about by the way we produce energy even when so much is now being produced by these things. They don’t want to admit they got it wrong and in doing so they are creating even more problems. Nothing like having your head in the sand even when its blowing away and exposing your predicament.
Climate Change as a cover for extracting monies from all levels?? Great point, never ever thought about it that way!!
Four reasons to question the human cause of climate change:
1. In the long-term geological climate record, temperature increase always preceded increasing CO2, therefore increasing CO2 could not have caused temperature increase.
2. The sun has two cycles that resonate at about 1,500 years. The medium-term geological record shows climate cycles with the same periodicity. We’re on the up-swing of one cycle now. The cycle was shown in the 1986 IPCC report, but removed from later editions, on the insistence of Michael Mann, to make his “hockey stick” look real.
3. Measurements of carbon-14 in the geological and ice-core climate record since 1750 show that human consumption of fossil fuels could not have produced more than 12% of the increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1750. Fossil fuels contain no carbon-14. It’s produced from nitrogen-14 in the upper atmosphere by interaction with cosmic rays.
4. Greenland ice-core measurements show that 1870 was the coldest year, at least in Greenland, in 8,700 years. Coincidentally, about 1870 is when widespread and accurate temperature measurements began to be recorded. Start measuring at the minimum, and every measurement thereafter is an increase.
Thus demonstrating once again that the Law of Unintended Consequences is always ready to confound the ignorant.
I doubt a single “climate scientist” is familiar with even the most basic rudiments of thermodynamics.