U.S. Studies Say Wind Farms Could Exclusively Feed Our Power Needs
Vast amount of clean energy can be generated via wind turbines and supply more than enough of what the entire planet needs, reports said. REUTERS

New research has indicated that wind farms can cause climatic change in the immediate locality and warm regional climates ten times faster than natural rates.

The research published in the latest edition of the journal Nature was conducted by researchers working in Texas.

According to the Telegraph, Texas is the largest producer of wind power in the US. Apart from Texas, China is erecting around 36 wind turbines every day.

The study released by the researchers has found that air temperatures close to the four largest wind turbines in the world have increased by up to 0.72C in the last ten years. In contrast, the average temperature of the earth has increased by only 0.8C since 1900.

The Daily Mail reported that temperature increases as more wind farms are built may have a long-term impact on wildlife and regional weather patterns, with experts warning that the effects from large farms could alter wind and rainfall patterns.

For the study, researchers used data from the Modis instruments on Nasa's Aqua and Terra satellites. With this information, they were able to gauge temperatures across the study region and between the beginning and end of the construction boom.

Although the measurement indicated that the overall temperature in the entire region increased in the last decade, the rise was more pronounced in the region close to the wind farms. Even though the researchers tried to find out other contributing factors to the rapid weather change like changes in vegetation, they concluded that the observed change produced by such external factors were too small.

"Wind energy is among the world's fastest growing sources of energy. The US wind industry has experienced a remarkably rapid expansion of capacity in recent years," lead researcher Liming Zhou from the University of New York told the Telegraph. "While converting wind's kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface-atmosphere exchanges and transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate."

The researchers also mentioned that the study is the "first step" in using information from satellite instruments to research the possible impacts of big wind farms on weather and climate.