A team of researchers from the University of Maryland posed the following question: what would happen if we were to literally blanket huge swaths of land in wind farms? Could we change the weather? The short answer is yes, if you build an absurdly huge wind farm stretching from Texas to Canada and from the Great Lakes to the Rockies. Doing so would lower wind speeds by 5-6 mph downwind.
Granted, that is a pretty preposterous scenario. Ultra-large wind farms, though, are not outside the realm of possibility, specifically in wind-heavy parts of Texas and the Midwest. Although these kinds of wind farms would not be as powerful as the one in the aforementioned study, they might be able to cause small local disturbances that would ripple in other directions. Some believe it might even be able to affect things like storm patterns.
Obviously, controlling the weather is pretty low on the list of reasons to develop wind power, even if there was some kind of proof. Sounds like a good dissertation topic for a meteorology grad student, though.
Via Discovery News
written by Becky, November 26, 2008
written by Mr. Lee, November 26, 2008
written by Kyle White, December 02, 2008
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