What a curious thing!

WASHINGTON — Ramping up wind power in America would also increase the nation’s temperatures, a new study from Harvard found. 

 Contrary to what you may be thinking, this is not about excess hot air escaping from the seat of power, The White House.

The dramatic all-out expansion of the number of wind turbines in the U.S. could warm the coal and also the other fossil fuels which are in the burning mix, because of the manner in which the spinning blades disturb the layers of cold and warm air. Normally, the air is more still at night, with cold air staying near the surface and warmer air resting a little higher. But turbines bring the warm air down and cool air up, making the ground a bit warmer. Interestingly, the effect is reduced during the day but is still there. 


The study looked at just the United States.  It found that in the unlikely event that the U.S. switched massively to wind to supply its electricity, there would be so many turbines that on average the nation’s temperature would go up about 0.4 degrees, though there would also be some cooling in places, such as the East Coast. Additionally, the turbines would cause more warming in the short term, this century, than the carbon dioxide America spews into the atmosphere would. 

P1030280 2010 Aug 5th Limousin Supreme Champ

The effect from turbines is different from human-caused climate change. According to the study authors, the effect which mostly consists of warming, is localised and it’s temporary. When the turbine blades are still  the air is calm and there’s no warming.

Wind advocates emphasized that the Harvard study doesn’t show turbines causing global warming, just local hot air.


Study lead Author Keith Miller and Co-Author Professor David Keith. Based on an article by Seth Borenstein Associated Press. October 10th-2018

14 thoughts on “HOT AIR!

    • I assume, if the U.S has pockets of heated up air courtesy of wind turbines, there will be similar issues in other countries where the conditions apply. The soothsayers will support wind power wherever it is. The Fossil fuel lobby will support their stance. From a personal viewpoint, I have no desire to return to industrial smogs I experienced pre-The Clean Air Act.

      I do wonder though, if it is economically possible to usefully harness the hot air unexpectedly produced by wind turbines, where they do produce it.

      Wind turbines do produce other issues, like a constant hum or whine and a certain pitch, also, he turning blades create a stroboscopic affect which, can and do make people ill. These are serious reasons for not having the turbines placed near to where people live and work.

      • I’m in favour of wind power, subject to the restrictions you mention. I’m not in favour of fracking, and am alarmed by the start of Cuadrilla’s drills and pumps today.

      • I fear there will be a lot of political overrides in the quest for self-sufficiency in power. In such circumstances, life becomes an inexpensive commodity to be ignored, even disposed of, at will.

        There are long-standing communities that are being literally surrounded by land-based turbines. Nothing they do is able to modify the march of the installations.

        For now, Scotland’s Government does not support fracking. I sincerely hope circumstances that could produce the temptation to start it never rears up. I too am concerned that an earthquake is insufficient reason stall the programme in England.

    • You have a fair point Snowbird. The cost of installing wind turbines off-shore have been going down, so, apart from installing them in suitable and safe weather conditions I should think the proposition may become more attractive to business. I hope it does.

  1. Yes, much better off shore, especially considering that there is more offshore on the planet than there is land. Aside from that, it seems to me turbines are a much better means of producing electricity, and that in another generation’s time, all the electricity will be produced by the harnessing of natural power. But this article was fascinating and enjoyable. Thanks.

    • Hello Shimon,

      I prefer the turbines to be off shore. Ancient and protected places are being littered with them here, unless it can be proved a development location has rare plant habitation. The fact that these sites have already been designated a ‘site of special scientific interest’, (the highest protection level, you will be told) the protections can be overridden and the turbines installed, 21+ each time. Their actual installation is very damaging to the habitats.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Hi Anne-Marie,

      I did reply to you; where on earth has the reply gone? Weird or what. When you press ‘post comment’ you naturally expect something useful to happen!

      I said something to the effect that I liked your wit. However, there is much truth in what you say.


      • Technology, don’t get me started! I use the app on my iPad, and I never get any notification that replies to my posts or comments have been posted. I have given up reporting at these faults to the app developer. So I have to remember where I have posted and pop back from time to time to see if there is a response. Then of course every once in awhile, the app wakes up, and tells me I have something ridiculous like 54 likes, comments or posts to read!

      • *sigh*. I share your irritation. It is a site that is constantly under development and my guess is, WP development is done in starts and spurts by different staff. It does feel as if continuity is missing. I gave WP I.T team, a heads up once, as to where a problem lay, obscure it was. I received a thank you email and ithe issue was dealt with. I just wish I could ‘accidentally’ get to grips with the notification issue you and I, (plus loads of others) have. Not receiving a posted comment is another issue, which I scratch my head about.

        Mostly, I am notified of replies with people who activated my invitation when we first moved over to WP. I say mostly, because there are some commenters I have to stay alert for, much as you describe. Nowadays, I visit WP, perhaps through making a comment, sometimes not, and look to see if there is an orange dot, the indicator there is a comment, under the bell. Xxx

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