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Increased Global Warming Could Lower Overall Wind Power, Researcher Says

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The Earth’s systems are all interlinked and their proper functioning depends on all of them. Diandong Ren, a climate researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, has recently formulated a theory according to which wind power could drop by up to 12 percent if the global temperature will rise 2 to 4 degrees.

The researchers talks about winds that activate in the “free” atmosphere, a zone at an altitude of about 1,000 meters. The wind speeds at that altitude are maintained by the temperature gradient. As temperatures at the poles rise, this gradient is lower, and thus wind speeds lower.

“For example, Wichita, Kansas is cooler, in general, than Austin, Texas,” Ren says. “The stronger the temperature contrast, the stronger the wind.”

The high altitude winds influence low altitude ones (the frictional layer), and their temperatures. Since wind turbines are placed 100 meters above the ground, they lie in the frictional layer. “Frictional effects from local topography and landscapes further influence wind speed and direction. In my study, I assume that these effects are constant – like a constant filter – so wind speed changes in the free atmosphere are representative of that in the frictional layer,” says Ren.

A 2-4 degree Celsius increase in Earth’s mid to high-latitudes will produce a 4 to 12 percent decrease in wind speeds at certain high northern latitudes. That translates in us trying to harvest as much wind power, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and passing to a greener technology before we will also lack wind power. Although I doubt at the time we’ll lack winds we’ll be needing any power… at all.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Cough, cough, bull hooey…wind is the product of solar. The sun heats the air it rises and cooler air rushes in to take its place…thus wind. The only way to decrease the wind is to dim the planet or stop it from spinning (always gona be a cooler area…just logic). Oh and btw you people out there who think you can control the weather and or have any impact on global climate change I have news for you. We live on a dynamic planet that is constantly changing….continents drift apart and come together…we have ice ages and tropical areas trun to desert. Its all happened before and it will continue to happen. In short your not in control your just along for the ride. Putting it simply in a country medaphor ” You just dont have a stick big enough to whip that dog!” We would all do better to try and control ourselves, planetary climate control is currently beyond our level of technology.

  2. The focus on reducing carbon emissions overlooks the all-important fact that methane is a far more potent global-warming gas than carbon dioxide. This explains another fact, namely that “livestock production” (raising animals for the consumption of meat and dairy products) is the number one cause of global warming. For more information, please watch the brief video titled “ANIMAL AGRICULTURE: THE FACTS” — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcjyn2GFJxk&feature=player_embedded and read the following article, titled “A New Global Warming Strategy: How Environmentalists are Overlooking Vegetarianism as the Most Effective Tool Against Climate Change in Our Lifetimes” — http://www.earthsave.org/globalwarming.htm By the way, these reports do not include information about the destruction of oceans and seas and the estimated consumption of fish or “seafood,” amounting to about 110 million tonnes annually.

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