Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wind Turbines May Not Be So Eco-Friendly—New Research Reveals They Change Weather Patterns

    Wind Turbines May Not Be So Eco-Friendly—New Research Reveals They Change Weather Patterns
  • Some researchers are worried that wind turbines are changing weather patterns and harming the environment.
  • Some researchers are worried that wind turbines are changing weather patterns and harming the environment.
    Wind turbines have been hailed as the future of green energy, but scientist Somnath Baidya Roy of Duke University has suggested an unexpected consequence related to these amazing machines: skewed weather reports.
    The problem itself lies in how the wind turbine works. The wind blows the blades of the turbine around a rotor, which then generates electricity. The turbulence created mixes the air around it, and that can make the air closer to the ground both warmer and dryer for miles around it. The problems are obvious. Not only can this create falsified weather reports and concerns, but it could also affect consumption of energy when it comes to heating and cooling units for businesses, as well as irrigation concerns in farm areas.
    The National Weather Service has ended up with false tornado alerts and storm warnings in many areas around the country. While the simple solution is simply to be aware of the potential problems at hand, a better solution is probably to evaluate the equipment itself.
    One study suggests that low-turbulence rotors may provide the solution to the problem, but there are other potential fixes on the horizon. A possible solution is configuring radar systems in the area to ignore the wind farms themselves, which would help to address the false weather reports, but not the effects of the energy production itself. That will take a change in the technology itself. Still, most experts suggest the effect of fossil fuels is far more damaging than the wind turbines might be themselves.

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