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.
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