Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

wind turbines
Wind turbines. Image courtesy of Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

Clean Power

Good News, Bad News: Global Heating May Boost Wind Farm Output Due To Stronger Wind

Scientist say alterations in ocean currents caused by global warming are causing higher average wind speeds around the world, which leads to more electricity being generated by wind farms.

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to wind energy and a warming planet. According to The Guardian, scientists have discovered that the world’s shifting ocean circulation patterns may have triggered a rapid increase in wind speeds over the last 10 years.

Image: Zach Shahan,

So the good news is that global heating may actually increase the output of wind generators. The bad news is that if the planet gets hot enough, we’re all going to die. So how you view this news will depend on whether you are a glass half full or half empty kind of person.

“The international research team analysed data from 9,000 international weather stations since the late 1970s and found that wind speeds had unexpectedly increased after a three-decade slowdown.”

Their findings are reported in the peer reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.

“Dr Zhenzhong Zeng, a professor at Princeton University and the lead author of the report, said the research team was surprised by the findings after setting out to study the slowdown in global wind speeds.

“The faster than expected wind speeds could help increase the amount of renewable electricity generated by windfarms by more than a third to 3.3m kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2024.

“Zeng said the unexpected acceleration is likely to have played a bigger role in improving the efficiency of windfarms in the US than technological innovations.”

Higher wind speeds are expected to continue for at least the next decade.

“Dr Adrian Chappell, a professor at Cardiff University and a co-author of the report, said the rapid increase in global wind speed bodes well for the expansion of renewable energy which will be central to keeping global heating to below 2C.”

The findings of the research are a reversal of something known to the climate science community as global terrestrial stilling. Decreasing wind speeds over the last three decades were expected to cut the world’s wind power potential by half by the end of this century. But thanks to pouring billions of tons more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, humans will have plenty of renewable energy available as the continents slowly sink beneath the waves. Oh, joy.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


You May Also Like

Climate Change

Researchers used artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze more than 4 billion geolocated tweets over six years and found that, of the tweets...

Air Quality

We can look to research studies to identify efficient ways to help new audiences learn about the connections between human activities and climate change....

Climate Change

Originally published by Union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation. By Laura Peterson It’s here! After years of advocacy, one executive order, two proposed laws, and numerous initiatives across...

Climate Change

The scorching temperature forecast for this summer makes me nervous. The extra-hot conditions expected across the country, shown in the graphic below, will put many millions...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.