Trouble in wind land -- wind speeds are diminishing

June 22, 2009
http://www.cleveland.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/national-3/124463459133860.xml&storylist=washington There will be an interesting item appearing in the up-coming Journal of Geophysical Research in August. Iowa State University researchers say US ...
http://www.cleveland.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/national-3/124463459133860.xml&storylist=washington

There will be an interesting item appearing in the up-coming Journal of Geophysical Research in August. Iowa State University researchers say US wind speeds are diminishing because of global warming.

That is not a surprising result if you believe the globe really is warming up. Winds are generated by temperature differences. In a global warming scenario, the absolute difference between the hottest and coldest global temperatures diminishes. Thus, winds should also diminish.

What I find surprising in the AP item above is the statement by a NASA source:

"A naysayer is Gavin Schmidt, a NASA climate scientist in New York who said the results conflict with climate models that show no effect from global warming."

I am certainly no climate expert but I wonder how absolute global temperature differences can diminish without affecting wind speeds.

Also interesting is the reaction of the American Wind Energy Association. Obviously, if wind speeds are diminishing, it affects how much power you can potentially generate with wind turbines. AWEA didn't come out and pooh-pooh the research, but they did find somebody to say "a cautionary response" is warranted:

http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.4153

About the Author

Lee Teschler | Editor

Leland was Editor-in-Chief of Machine Design. He has 34 years of Service and holds a B.S. Engineering from the University of Michigan, a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan;, and a MBA from Cleveland State University. Prior to joining Penton, Lee worked as a Communications design engineer for the U.S. Government.

Sponsored Recommendations

Pumps Push the Boundaries of Low Temperature Technology

June 14, 2024
As an integral part of cryotechnology, KNF pumps facilitate scientific advances in cryostats, allowing them to push temperature boundaries and approach absolute zero.

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.

MONITORING RELAYS — TYPES AND APPLICATIONS

May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!