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Global warming will weaken wind power, study predicts

December 15, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public


From the Guardian:



Wind farms are key to tackling climate change but warming will significantly cut the power of the wind across northern mid-latitudes, including the US, the UK and the Mediterranean, according to new research. However, some places, including eastern Australia, will see winds pick up.

The research is the first global study to project the impact of temperature rises on wind energy and found big changes by the end of the century in many of the places hosting large numbers of turbines.

Wind farms have grown more than fivefold in the last decade and plunging costs have made them a key way of reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning. But in the central US, for example, the power of the wind could fall by nearly a fifth.

“We found some substantial changes in wind energy,” said Kristopher Karnauskas at the University of Colorado Boulder, US. “But it does not mean we should not invest in wind power.” It does mean such changes need to be taken into account in planning future wind farms, he said, and also in assessing how much wind farms overall can cut global emissions.

The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, used the same climate models and projected future emissions as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Losses of wind energy stretched from the central US to the UK, Russia and Japan for both medium and high emissions scenarios. If emissions remain high in the future, wind energy increases were also seen a smaller number of regions.


The biggest fall was in Japan, where wind farm building is just beginning to accelerate, with wind energy projected to fall by 58kW, or about 10%. The central US was second with 49kW but because the average current winds are generally weaker than in Japan, this represents a larger 17% drop. The UK is anticipated to fall by 36kW, or 5%.

However, the wind energy in eastern Australia would jump if there is strong global warming in future. “That is the biggest increase on the whole map,” said Karnauskas. Here, wind energy would rise by 48kW, or 23%. Eastern Brazil and west Africa would also see big rises, 35% and 40% respectively.

The reason these coastal areas would see increased wind energy is that the world’s land is warming faster than the ocean and that difference is the energy source for those winds. “The more it warms, ironically, the more it increases the wind power there,” said Karnauskas.

In the northern mid-latitudes, however, the major driver of wind is the temperature difference between the Arctic and the tropics, and the Arctic is warming very rapidly, reducing that difference.


Remember that when climate sharks claim that storms will become more intense.

  1. roger permalink
    December 15, 2017 11:58 am

    Lick the pad of your middle finger, fold down remaining fingers and thumb into palm of hand and raise the arm into the air.
    This will not only give information on the strength and direction of the wind, but also provide a useful sign to be used in the presence of both climate scientists and The Guardian personnel..
    This has the additional benefit of harming nobodies tax burden whilst at the same time providing scientific information of equal reliability and exactitude.

    • Roy permalink
      December 15, 2017 12:45 pm

      Excellent :0) May I also suggest adding the forefinger – it improves the reliability of the data whilst strengthening the message to the water melons.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      December 15, 2017 7:33 pm

      roger; as time goes by, your finger will most likely (95% confidence) get dry, another sign of man-made gobal warming and a dire warning of future world-wide drought.

    • December 16, 2017 2:27 am

      I know where the fingers of these so called ‘scientists@ waffling this rubbish are, and no prizes for guessing.

  2. Jackington permalink
    December 15, 2017 12:05 pm

    Why not just do away with wind turbines at let Mother Nature take care of things instead of wasting time and effort researching hypothetical problems. There are loads of other serious and real problems to researched.

    • Sheri permalink
      December 15, 2017 5:51 pm

      I thought Mother Nature is supposed to be altruistic and kind. Well, except when we burn fossil fuels. If one fears retribution from a “living planet”, I guess it makes sense to act. You know, like sacrificing virgins to volcanoes to keep the Gods from pouring out lava on the village.

  3. December 15, 2017 12:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Remember that when climate sharks claim that storms will become more intense.” P. Homewood


  4. quaesoveritas permalink
    December 15, 2017 12:21 pm

    “The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, used the same climate models and projected future emissions as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
    So very reliable predictions then? /sarc

  5. Dung permalink
    December 15, 2017 1:24 pm

    The rest of the world is building coal fired power stations like they are going out of fashion, I suspect because they are cheap to supply, ultra efficient and ultra reliable. The rest of the world is therefore negating any chance that a low carbon economy in the UK could make a difference to climate change (in the unlikely event that CO2 was causing it).
    Our government is mandated always to work in the best interests of the UK: its citizens and its economy and it is clearly not doing either of those things.

  6. Broadlands permalink
    December 15, 2017 1:43 pm

    How can anyone predict and calculate the effects of wind farms when nobody has calculated how much of the Earth’s surface will be occupied by these farms and all of the solar panel “farms” that will be required for our “alternative energy” as we reach for zero carbon emissions? These drastic modifications of the landscape on every continent must have an impact on many factors, not the least of which is agricultural space for food (also replaced by tree farms?) Are we to assume that reducing emissions to zero will take place without any changes, except to our pocketbooks?

  7. Bitter&twisted permalink
    December 15, 2017 4:03 pm

    What will really weaken wind power is a global reduction in subsidies.
    This will also weaken solar power.

  8. Sheri permalink
    December 15, 2017 5:53 pm

    “Wind farms are key to tackling climate change” should read “wind farms are key to enriching billionaires and the congressmen they reward for keeping the government handouts coming.”

  9. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    December 15, 2017 9:12 pm

    Paul – Don’t miss the following post over at Judy Curry’s:

    The cost of displacing fossil fuels: some evidence from Texas

    It’s fairly heavy going but worth the effort. A version of the paper itself is linked at the bottom.

    Effectively they demonstrate from real world grid performance data that even if you assume global warming the intermittency issues caused by wind turbines are so costly that you are better off using just gas, or even nuclear power plus batteries. There is no combination of wind energy with anything else which makes it anywhere near economically feasible.

  10. Graeme No.3 permalink
    December 15, 2017 9:58 pm

    This was also discussed on JoNova and received a rather rude response from many, especially those who’ve had some experience of cyclones (a.k.a. hurricanes) in Queensland.
    If the winds are going to strengthen and cyclones become stronger and more frequent then buying houses north of Bondi beach would be a mistake. Even Bondi wouldn’t be a safe haven as those putative cyclones would extend their destruction further south than that.

  11. December 16, 2017 3:47 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  12. markl permalink
    December 16, 2017 4:06 am

    And just when you think “they” (warmists) can no longer come up with a reason to combat global warming…. They should be ashamed of this BS.

  13. Jack Broughton permalink
    December 16, 2017 11:28 am

    Of course solar panels now offer a new opportunity to rake in more dosh for the subsidy bandwagon: The next must have is your intelligent roof -mounted panel cleaning equipment.

    Renewable Energy World Editors December 13, 2017
    Israel-based Ecoppia yesterday said that it has raised $13 million, led by investors Swarth Group, GlenRock Israel, Gandyr Group, and Harel Group Insurance and Finance. Ecoppia’s cloud-based and connected robots use a water-free cleaning process to remove dust from solar panels, using data analysis and machine learning.

    Nothing can go wrong, go wrong…..

  14. December 16, 2017 2:06 pm

    And this bit from those who breathlessly predicted more and more severe hurricanes and more and more severe tornadoes. They need to get their scare stories straight.

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