Liming Zhou, Research Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of New York, who led the study, said further research is needed into the affect of the new technology on the wider environment.
"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,” he said. “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 study, published in Nature, found a “significant warming trend” of up to 0.72C (1.37F) per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to near-by non-wind-farm regions. Studying satellite weather data scientists say the change has become more obvious as wind turbines become more common especially where large wind farms exist as in China and Texas.
The study read: "Despite debates regarding the possible impacts of wind farms on regional to global scale weather and climate, modelling studies agree that they can significantly affect local scale meteorology."
Professor Steven Sherwood, co-Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, said the research was ‘pretty solid’.
Guy Bore from the Climaxion Center for Climate Action says the new data is disturbing. “This means that physics also applies to green technologies. We were truly hoping that since the intentions were good that the weather gods would give us a break. Apparently, and this is quite distressing, the law of Conservation of Energy doesn't exempt wind turbines”.
George Adam Takei of Glory Hole Apple Orchards said the new study was not a surprise to him and many others in the industry. “We have used fans to change the temperature at orchards for decades. It can help keep apples from freezing on the margins, extending the growing season and allowing a larger harvest”.
Holding up a Red Delicious “They come out pretty as well as juicy, the kind of apples we like the most here at Glory Hole Orchards”
Government mandates and subsidies would have the number of wind turbines growing exponentially over the next decades. This large scale wind farming could bring negative affects to regions of the country.
“This needs a lot more study” said Guy Bore “If the findings hold up, it could mean drastic changes are needed in government energy policy. It would completely change the complexion of the environmental movement too”. If the study was backed up he said his organization, Climaxion, would likely begin to press for the end of any electric usage.
“Over the past decades we have come closer and closer to the idea that all usage of energy is a bad thing, but this news was disheartening. How are we going to convince the public and government officials to cut back on all energy usage? I think many people will conclude we are a bunch of kooks, but we have to do what is necessary. We don't want to be dragged back to the past where the climate was warm enough to grow vineyards in Scotland, do we? If the warming trend continues we could see the oceans become calmer, like they were when that evil man Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic and terrorized the so-called 'New World'. That is the kind of thing we need to stop from happening in the long term”.
Guy Bore didn't stop there. “The last thing we need is for the unwashed masses to put this story next to the story about weather and conclude that wind turbines caused Hurricane Sandy. That kind of crazy connection is something only people on our side are supposed to do”.