Wind farms could affect air temperature, according to an American study which looked at NASA satellite data from over the last decade.
A research group led by the University at Albany in New York found a nighttime warming effect over wind farms of up to 0.72 °C per decade over the nine years in which data was collected.
The research which looked at large wind farms in certain areas of the United States such as Texas was published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.
Co-author of the study, Professor Somnath Baidya Roy at University of Illinois said: “This warming effect is most likely caused by the turbulence in turbine wakes acting like fans to pull down warmer near surface air from higher altitudes at night.”
The study would be important in helping adjust to the impact of the new form of energy, added the Professor: “Wind power is going to be a part of the solution to the climate change, air pollution and energy security problems. Understanding the impacts of wind farms is critical for developing efficient adaptation and management strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of wind power.”