Study: Global wind speed dropping, wind farms victim of “atmospheric stilling”

Widespread decrease in wind energy resources found over the Northern Hemisphere

 

Widespread decrease in surface winds is found over the Northern Hemisphere. Wind energy resources are in rapid decline in many places. Study finds atmospheric stilling is a widespread and potentially global phenomenon.

 

From the INSTITUTE OF ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Asia’s biggest wind farm, the Dabancheng wind farm in China’s Xinjiang province. CREDIT Gang Huang

As climate change is becoming more and more a matter of concern, efforts on mitigation are being undertaken by the world community. Developing clean and renewable energy is a major component of those efforts for its significant contribution to reducing carbon emission to the atmosphere compared with fossil fuel. In 2016, renewable energy contributes more than 19% to the global final energy consumption. Of all the renewable energy sources, the wind is one of the key players in terms of installed electricity generating capacity, only exceeded by hydropower.

Wind energy is a natural resource characterized by instability. Previous studies mainly focus on the assessment of wind energy reserves, but it’s not clear how the wind energy evolves over time.

A new study focusing on the change in wind energy resources and models’ simulation ability over the Northern Hemisphere by the collaboration of IAP researchers–Ph.D. candidate Qun Tian, Professor Gang Huang, Associate Professor Kaiming Hu, and Purdue University researcher–Professor Dev Niyogi was recently published. It reveals a widespread decline in wind energy resources over the Northern Hemisphere. Using station observation data, the study finds that approximately 30%, 50% and 80% of the stations lost over 30% of the wind power potential since 1979 in North America, Europe, and Asia, respectively. The study also reveals that global climate models (GCM) cannot replicate the long-term changes on wind energy, indicating wind energy projections based on GCM simulations should be used with careful consideration to the model performance.

“Our study is one of the first comprehensive assessments of the GCM-based winds against surface observations over multiple continents. We found that the decline of wind energy is a widespread and potential global phenomenon. In addition, the finding that the climate models have a notable deficiency in simulating wind energy is an important conclusion that needs further attention.”, said Tian, the lead author of the paper.

###

The paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S036054421832231X?via%3Dihub

Preprint here: http://www.escience.cn/system/file?fileId=102783

Observed and global climate model based changes in wind power potential over the Northern Hemisphere during 1979–2016

Abstract

Using an observed dataset, we study the changes of surface wind speeds from 1979 to 2016 over the Northern Hemisphere and their impacts on wind power potential. The results show that surface wind speeds were decreasing in the past four decades over most regions in the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe and Asia. In conjunction with decreasing surface wind speeds, the wind power potential at the typical height of a commercial wind turbine was also declining over the past decades for most regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Approximately 30%, 50% and 80% of the stations lost over 30% of the wind power potential since 1979 in North America, Europe and Asia, respectively. In addition, the evaluation of climate models shows their relatively poor ability to simulate long-term temporal trends of surface winds, indicating the need for enhancing the process that can improve the reliability of climate models for wind energy assessments.

Excerpts from the paper:

Figure 2. Percentile wind speed trend. Evolution, as a function of year,
of annual percentile for observed surface wind speeds. 5th, 10th – 90th in 10
percentile increment and 95th percentile are shown. The domain considered
for a)North America, b)Europe, c)Asia, while
d)Global considers all the sites available in the dataset.

 

The results show that a reduction in wind power potential occurs in most of the areas (Figure 3), as deduced from analysis of section 3.1. There are 59 out of 214 (27.6%) stations in North America that have lost over 30 percent of their wind power potential since 1979 (Figure 4). Stations located in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Virginia and Maine in the United States are among those which appear experienced notable impact.

Remarkable alterations occur in Asia, where 65.0% of the stations show more than a 30 percent decrease with 50.5% with more than a 50 percent decrease (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Frequency distribution of cumulative changes in wind
power potential. Cumulative changes in the wind power potential from
1979 to 2016.

The results from analysis of observational surface wind speeds reemphasize that atmospheric stilling is a widespread and potentially global phenomenon. Among three continents included in this study, the decline in Asia is much sharper compared to North America and Europe. In terms of wind speed percentiles, strong winds decline faster than weak winds in Asia and Europe, while in North America, weak winds exceed strong winds in decline ratio.

Consistent with the decrease of surface wind speeds, the wind power potential was also decreasing in most regions of the Northern Hemisphere in the past decades. Around one third of the stations in North America, have experienced a huge decrease (over 30 percent) in wind power potential while over half of the stations in Europe and around four- fifths in Asia have the same magnitude of decrease.

For China, the country with the largest installed wind energy capacity, regions which have a considerable decrease are mainly regions with abundant wind energy resources and where a number of gigantic commercial wind farms were built. Changes in all four seasons are of the similar magnitude despite of the large differences in their mean states. For Asia and North America, the sharpest decrease appears along with the largest mean wind power potential. However, this is not the case for Europe, where the sharpest decrease in wind power potential appears in the autumn, while the largest mean value occurs in the winter.

The pattern of climatological wind speeds in CMIP5 simulations is also not consistent with the observations compared to the surface temperature simulation [62]. Thus the CMIP5 simulations of the changes in surface wind speeds should be used with considerable caution and likely not reliable.

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151 thoughts on “Study: Global wind speed dropping, wind farms victim of “atmospheric stilling”

  1. Well that is a convenient little report for the failing wind power speculators.
    So over a 35 year period wind speeds have changed, as measured at certain points.
    Do these locations also have wind-turbines installed at them?
    Over the same time period?
    Like so much climate speculation this seems to assume a linear trend from what is most likely cyclic weather.

    • That is what first came to mind as I read the post. I have been using earthnullschool on a daily basis for 4 years now. There are obvious changes occurring in surface wind patterns over recent years. Some of them significant, in that they have induced changes over a larger region. Here is a prime example of that, imo. The surface winds in this area underwent a change 2 years ago from dominant warm winds angling down and through Drake’s Passage to colder winds pushing their way up the west coast of SA. …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=-83.23,-39.22,672/loc=-85.480,-40.647

    • I wondered about the turbines, too. Seems they must slow the wind and over time, that would affect the patterns and speeds. Skyscrapers to this, why not giant spinning towers? Especially two or three hundred of them in one small area and thousands over the globe. (Maybe the skyscrapers and the turbines have a combined effect over the planet.)

      What do you mean by “cyclic weather” when it comes to wind speeds? Do we have evidence of cycles? Just curious, not disagreeing.

      • By the same token then so must mountains. If the climate is perceived to be so sensitive then we are back to the sillyness of the butterfly effect.

        • Well “DUH”, ……. CAGW is the culprit, of course,

          As the middle latitudes in the NH “warms up” due to global warming, …….. then the wind speed decreases accordingly.

          Winds are driven by ……. temperature differentials.

          • Yes: Samual cogar: That is the first thought I had. Delta T should mean less wind and weaker storms in general. The North and South poles should increase in temp, under the theory that temperatures are rising, more than the tropics, hence less delta T which leads to less wind.

        • airplanes ‘distributing warmth’ along the longitudes to luxury tourist resorts dispersed along the longitudes.

          Just kidding.

    • Or perhaps they simply discovered that the wind energy purported to exist at locations where windfarms were built was overestimated.

      • Or perhaps they did not study the wind patterns over a 30 year period (the WMO time used to define a climate).

        Wind speeds and timings are sure to change over this period as the only thing that doesn’t change with climates is that they are always changing.

    • We live in a warming world where the poles are warming more than the tropics (in fact the tropics have barely warmed at all). Wind is part of the Earth’s way of distributing energy from the tropics to the poles. In my part of the northern hemisphere when the difference is greatest (winter) we get Atlantic storms and high winds. In the summer, weather is calmer and less windy.

      So when there is less difference between warmer poles and the tropics in winter, wind speeds might drop?

      A bit of problem that if we are going to rely on wind to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels!

    • I assume you’re joking, but might actually be true. The heat convection from large areas of black surface may well increase cloud formation. Because there is usually some wind, this will decrease the insolation some distance downwind of the solar farm, maybe a mile or two.

      • Oh no! It’s “atmospheric stilling” (meant to bring to mind the evils of liquor commingled with the imagined effects of an increase of CO2 from 3 molecules in 10K to 4 molecules in 10K.)

  2. Is this just due to the fact that the most desirable locations have already been developed, and so each new incremental wind farm is going to be in a lower and lower potential area, thus bringing down the average over time?

    • Not only that but wind farms reduce wind velocity down wind. link When they have wind farms everywhere the wind speed everywhere will be reduced. Maybe it’s already happening.

      • Nah. Not even turbines have the capacity to get in the way of nature. The planet spins at a specific rate. It will take something much larger than turbines to slow it down.

        • We’re talking about a fairly local phenomenon.

          If you stand in the lee of a building you will find that the wind velocity is affected. Similarly, if you stand in the lee of a wind farm, you will be able to measure a decrease in wind velocity and an increase in turbulence.

          Wind turbines have to be sufficiently spaced or they will interfere with each other’s air flow. link It’s not conjecture. It’s engineering.

          We have seen that the urban heat island effect distorts temperature measurements. It is entirely likely that increased urban density in the vicinity of anemometers will affect wind measurements.

  3. Thus the CMIP5 simulations of the changes in surface wind speeds should be used with considerable caution and likely not reliable.
    ≠====(((((
    Wind, humidity, we can’t model that. But temperature we are certain we have that right.

    We simply average out all the wrong answers in the models and this gives us the right answer. We call it the ensemble means to ensure it is correct.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right but the average of many wrongs, that is mathematically certain to be right. 97% if climate scientists agree.

      • Indeed. This reminds me of back when ‘Ocean Acidification’ first started to get significant mention in the media. I remember how the reporters breathlessly announced that the ocean had become 30% more acidic. It sounded very scary… until I remembered how chemistry works.

        So, who wants to do the math to figure out what a 30% decrease in wind power comes to in mph? And does anyone want to bet on how close it is to the measuring tolerance of your average wind speed gauge?

        ~¿~

        • I’m not sure if they are saying wind power is reduced by 30% for some of the wind farms, or if some of the wind farms are becalmed 30% of the time, but I suspect t is the latter.

          SR

        • Schitzree

          So, who wants to do the math to figure out what a 30% decrease in wind power comes to in mph? And does anyone want to bet on how close it is to the measuring tolerance of your average wind speed gauge?

          In general, for wind turbines whose hub is above the tree tops nearby, the power delivered is proportional to the wind speed cubed.
          But, very, very few times each month is the wind at turbine maximum = More than 90% of the time the effective wind speed is less than 1/2 maximum.
          Now, a 30% decrease in power means P 30%-less = 0.70*P_original
          cube root of .7 = 0.888
          So wind speed “may” decrease about 11% from average values. Or, then again, it may not.

          If wind goes from 5 m/sec down to

  4. Sooo, either a more temperate climate means less wind energy (seems reasonable on the surface), or the wind turbines are sucking all the energy out of the wind (put that in for laughs, but bound to be someone proposing it), or the changes are part of a normal cycle, possible linked to changes in the solar cycle?

    In ANY case, assuming this study is valid, it just confirms what any sensible person already knows…you can’t rely on a naturally unreliable source of energy without massive energy storage somewhere in the loop.

    Wind power makes no sense. You need to have solid baseline power in place to make up for it, so wind power is like sticking a pointy pretty horn on an otherwise perfectly good horse, it just complicates the final results (and increases costs).

    • It can of course mean both things , as one of the great unanswered questions of AGW proponents is what would ‘disprove the theory. and its unanswered because by doing so ANYTHING can and is claimed as proof . The days of ‘weather is not climate ‘ are long gone .

      • knr: Now, now, we all know you can’t disprove science that’s settled. If the theory predicted increased wind (sounds likely) then this decrease would certainly not disprove CAGW, certainly not! Instead (after a first round of denial), the decrease would be due to… ah,… natural causes, yes, natural variation that … uhhh… is just a bit stronger than the human “increase” effect. That’s it!

        Boy am I glad I came up with that, because “the human-caused increase in wind is hiding in the deep ocean” would be very tough to sell. You know, science communication is easier than I thought.

  5. Did I not predict this?
    As the speed of warming goes down –
    – in fact to the point where it is now globally cooling –

    the wind would go down and be the cause of the droughts that are now coming to the higher latitudes.

    Remember the dust bowl drought? It is coming again.

    Must say: 40 years ago everyone on radio and TV asked us to pray for rain [when there was a drought]

    Now I hear: the lack of rain is due to ‘climate change’ so it is our [man made] own fault….

    Click on my name to read my final report on this

  6. This looks like we will need to add ten percent more Wind turbines every ten years to each wind farm just to keep up with decrease in wind due to …… Climate Change. This is going to make the cost of these unreliables even worse than thought. At this rate the decrease in wind power w. ill exceed the projected increase in efficiency I keep reading about. More and more like a lost cause.

  7. I wondered from the get go what the effect might be of drawing large amounts of energy from the atmosphere via wind turbines.
    Would it be completely negligible, or might it lead to changes?
    Might the wind speed up to compensate, since the wind flows in response to pressure gradient as the atmosphere tries to reach equilibrium, or might the energy withdrawn slow down the wind and change the weather.
    If the people modeling these things have been wrong in their assumptions (Golly, is that possible? Whodathunkit!?), then minds must be open to possibilities that are counterintuitive, such as that having massive wind turbines all over the place can withdraw enough energy to slow down the wind.
    Or not…just musings and pure speculation.
    One big rock in a large river can cause huge changes in erosion and even the course of the river, over time.

  8. Yet another example of linear thinking in a cyclical world.
    Wind changes. Precipitation changes. Clouds change. Sunlight changes. Temperature changes. Polar ice changes. Deserts Change. Plate techtonics change. Ocean circulations change.

    Climate Changes! Expecting Climate stasis… or wind stasis…. or rain, cloud, sunlight, temperature, ice, desert, or ocean stasis is just stupid. Planning for continuous energy production from unreliable, variable and intermittent sources is beyond stupid, given the abundant supply of low cost, reliable, safe, 24/7/365 dispatchable electricity available from coal.

    • Sounds like you are a real Climage Change denier! /sarc

      Remember!

      All change is suprising. All change is bad. All changes are, however, postgnosticated by models. Deniers deny change, or that is dangerous, or that is fully 110% human-caused, or that we could easily, if political will existed, change to non-carbon-intensive energy, or that change would be econominally good for us.

      Start to believe, join to the church of easily curable dangerous anthropogenic global climate change! Switch to tofu, electric car, solar panels, bring the migrants in, and give us your money. Oh, and give up your independence and start eating some food that is a taboo in some Western culture. Think about your kids, and don’t have them. Bring more migrants.

      And did I tell you, stop being just misogyne, be misandric.

      /sarc

      I think I need a lie-down.

  9. And next up, after clouds block the sun, … increasing volcano eruptions thicken the stilled, cloudy atmosphere.

    “Green energy” just can’t win ! … What’s a climate alarmist to do ? … Oh, I know, start worrying about asteroid collisions during an ice age.

  10. When it comes to a comparison of putting some extra CO2 into the atmosphere, or putting 500ft high airbrakes on a substantial proportion of the planet’s hills and seas, Intuitively I would have said that the latter is more likely to have a noticeable effect on weather patterns.

    Only thing is, unlike the small amount of warming caused by CO2 (mostly harmless unless you’re paranoid) it’s kinda hard to say just what that effect would be, and whether it would be beneficial or damaging. It might slow tornadoes down, but then it might also change their course so that more make landfall. I could paraphrase the Greens here, and say that maybe we should be more careful about doing things like this until we understand the consequences for the planet.

  11. The salient observation is that these energy production methods cannot be reasonably isolated from the environment, which makes them unsuitable for all but niche applications and environments. Still, they are viable choices in a comprehensive energy production basket.

  12. How about we also look at southern reach of Polar Vortex over same period?
    Let’s THINK about how that might affect prevailing winds.

  13. Did anyone look to see if the reporting stations might have changed? Like a building or two grew up beside it over the past 10 years? Or trees got taller? Or any number of things that could cause a “wind break”?

    Quite frankly, with everything catastrophic that AGW is causing, just how am I still alive? .. it’s a miracle !!

  14. The pattern of climatological wind speeds in CMIP5 simulations is also not consistent with the observations compared to the surface temperature simulation [62]. Thus the CMIP5 simulations of the changes in surface wind speeds should be used with considerable caution and likely not reliable.
    That is the problem: Observations are wrong in temperature and wind speed, CMIP5 simulation is the right answer, 97% agree!

  15. From personal experience I can say with certainty that the number of windy days in Montana has dropped substantially since the early 2000’s.

  16. Of course like much in this areas the amount of historic valid measurement they have is tiny for what they need to have make claims in a scientifically meaningful way.
    But who cares . models can of course given you the results you ‘need ‘ anyway even if that ‘result ‘ is equal to saying up is down or black is white . And there is not a dam thing that cannot be blamed on AGW , so its free and easy time .

    • “knr December 5, 2018 at 12:09 pm
      Of course like much in this areas the amount of historic valid measurement they have is tiny ….”

      But weather stations have been reporting wind speed for about a century, no?

  17. Atmospheric stilling….caused by, you guessed it….us.

    Quick, better cut CO2 emissions even more and install MOAR windmills to prevent wind disruption….wait, I mean stilling.

    /snark/

    Laughable……

  18. Who’s been taking my wind? Each wind turbine removes energy from the wind. Eventually there will be no wind left. Or with enough wind turbines can we slow the earth’s rotation? /sarc

  19. Is this some kind of a joke?
    Perhaps not, maybe just caused by “a fluid which possesses a type of ‘negative gravity’ making 95% of known universe” opines Dr James Farnes from Oxford University.

    • I saw that also Vuk.. wildly OT but ynot eh

      The mysterious dark substances are not covered by the existing mathematical model of the universe – known as LambdaCDM – but they are known to exist because of their gravitational effects.

      Now scientists have proposed a new model which unifies dark energy and dark matter into a single phenomenon – a fluid which possesses “negative mass”.

      Dr James Farnes, who led the team at Oxford’s e-Research Centre, said: “We now think that both dark matter and dark energy can be unified into a fluid which possesses a type of ‘negative gravity’.

      Gives a lot of weight (positive gravity – or is that a ‘type’ of negative negative gravity?) to the idea that the Red & White colour scheme of Christmas originated from the Fly Agaric mushroom.
      Climate Change must have produced an early and especially bumper crop of the hallucinogenic fungus in & around Oxford this year.

      • Ask the speculators how a fluid with negative gravity increases the purported unseen gravity additions which holds the galaxies together.

        • If the field of dark/negative mass is more or less uniform and larger in size than the galaxy, I imagine that the effect of that negative gravity field on the observable matter will be to keep the galaxy constrained to a more compact size and alter the stellar velocities to be such as is observed which cannot be explained by a pure visible matter/gravity model. It kind of makes intuitive sense to me though I don’t think I could do the math to prove it. Of course this is speculation too, I’m no physicist but just like to read and think about it.

    • I also saw that article about “a fluid which possesses a type of ‘negative gravity’ making 95% of known universe”. It sounded a little like a new version of the Luminiferous aether.

      • ‘They’ of course are assuming without a valid basis that the negative gravity fluid is in fact a fluid. If it indeed has negative gravity there is nothing to hold it together and it rapidly becomes a gas. Then what happens? the universe flies apart?

        • “If it indeed has negative gravity there is nothing to hold it together and it rapidly becomes a gas.”

          Well, to engage in wild speculation, perhaps the fluid is attractive to itself but repulsive to normal matter. Or perhaps there is another force, similar to the Strong Nuclear Force, that acts only on the fluid and neutralizes the fluid’s self-repulsion.

  20. Too many wind turbines slowing down the wind? Seriously though. If we had enough wind turbines to meet global energy needs, would that be enough to noticeably slow the wind? Or would it slow the rotation of the earth? What would the effect be?

    • If we pointed them all in the same direction, we could fly the Earth around the Solar System….

      Note: The above comment represents a journalist’s view of climate science, and has no basis in reality….

      • “If we pointed them all in the same direction, we could fly the Earth around the Solar System…”

        … and park it a few hundred meters further away from the sun where the temperature anomaly is a perfect zero.

  21. Wind patterns are chaotic systems. A small influence by the wind farms can change the wind patterns significantly. Real man made wind change.

  22. I’m with Robber above.
    I’ve been very concerned that all those windmills have been slowing the Earth’s rotation.
    Inducing more earthquakes.
    Less wind will reduce the threat.
    There–I’m learning to think (feel?) like a liberal.
    Except they never see a brighter side.

  23. Revelation 7:1
    After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so no wind could blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.

    (or any windmill)

  24. So global warming is actually caused by reduced convective heat transfer from the surface due to stilling caused by wind turbines.

  25. We could add that solar farms where crops and grass use to grow are changing the environment too. Water run off, changes in temperatures, co2 absorption, excess heat from the back surface of the panels… what else? And then there is the undefined ….

  26. So…

    Let me ask. Is hydroelectric part of renewable? It would make sense, since the 19% of world power is renewable (paraphrased) seems outrageously glib. I’d have thought that worldwide, PV Solar remains below 2.5% and wind below 3.5% of total power production. Way less, actually.

    Just asking.
    GoatGuy

  27. I think they include burning cow dung for cooking and heating by poor people in Africa etc. It kills them but it’s renewable so kicks the stats up.

  28. Air speed in crop canopies is relevant to the resistance at the leaf boundary to gas exchange (ex:CO2) & water (ex: transpiration cooling); there is less resistance to CO2 & transpiration when air speed is notable. Bear in mind that inside the plant canopy the air speed can be 30% less; thus the dynamic is more complex than simply a factor of how a single leaf responds to wind speed.

    As always, different kinds of plants have different degrees of reaction to air velocity at the leaf boudary layer. For example in tomato seedlings by going from 0.1 meters/sec to 1.0 meteres/sec.
    there is a gain in photosynthesis. While for rice the same improved rate of net photosynthesis only requires boosting air speed from 0.1m/s. to 0.8 meters/-sec.

    The issue becomes yet more nuanced since in actually mature tomato plants grown inside CO2 enriched greenhouses it is CO2 driving results & not air speed. Which does not totally detract from the benefit of air speed when consider that field sown crops do not get artifically elevated CO2.

    A study of one plant that they bumped air speed at the leaf boundary layer from 0.3 meters/sec. up to 1.0 meters/sec. found that this resulted in a net photosynthetic gain of 62-72%; which team calculated as being the equivalent of increasing CO2 that plant was grown in by about 270 ppm more CO2. That said, the same team found increasing CO2 under which that plant was grown in by giving it an extra 270 ppm CO2 resulted in a net photosynthetic gain of 111%.

  29. I’ve been wondering about this for many years, and have never gotten any answers from pro-wind people. Wind is the major transport mechanism for heat, water, minerals, and biological materials on this planet. Slowing it down, especially at the surface, would appear to me to have an enormous environmental impact. But I’ve never seen it addressed at all until this study, which is at least a start.

    Scotland has a big problem with overproduction of electricity from wind turbines. Perhaps they can solve that problem and ameliorate the wind energy reduction by using the output from some turbines to run the others backwards as giant fans. Wouldn’t that be a kick?!

    • They could then play ‘catch’ with all the energy – blow it from one windmill to another where it is turned back into electricity. Wash, rinse and repeat until the energy is needed in Glasgow. Problem solved!

  30. This wind-stilling should reduce the wind-chill factor in winter.

    Here we have, presumably, a striking instance of a natural climate variation. I bet it’s one for which climatologists can’t think of a persuasive explanation for either. So maybe global (mostly N. Hemisphere) warming is also an unexplainable natural variation.

    Climatologists don’t have the climate system mentally boxed in the way they insinuate that they do.

  31. Seriously now help me understand please. Why not put a wind turbine on the roof of every electric car. A neat state of the art turbine would not look too bad. It would not impede the car much would it? A small price to pay for a battery always fully charged.

  32. Wow, so that’s going to be their excuse for the dismal failings of wind power: “global warming has stilled the winds”, ROTFL. But wait, wasn’t global warming supposed to make winds stronger and more Gore-ible?

  33. Does this mean wind should lose its classification as a renewable? Further, since climate scientists describe any change as a trend, does this imply that the supply of wind power is going to be exhausted long before fossil fuels?

  34. Perhaps this has something to do with the warming we are having. Stilling not cycling up as much cold water strengthening the thermocline and a warmer world, like what has been happening. Perhaps it’s not all CO2? Maybe it’s why the warming was happening before CO2 became more abundant.

  35. I remember reading years ago on this site — stated simplistically: As Earth temperature rises it will not be evenly distributed. Hot will remain hot but not much hotter while cold will heat up. I.e. Farther North long term average temperatures rise faster than Equator — near North Pole most warming of all. Night long term average temperatures rise faster than day (as is shown by the historical plots on government site). So there will be less atmospheric energy differential across latitudes and less energy differential from day to night. Less atmospheric energy differential means less wind.

    Global Warming Net result: Lower wind speeds on average. Less wind damage. And, less wind power.

    So, I’m not surprised.

  36. “… The study also reveals that global climate models (GCM) cannot replicate the long-term changes on wind energy, indicating wind energy projections based on GCM simulations should be used with careful consideration to the model performance…”

    They can’t get regional temps right. Can’t get precipitation right. Can’t get wind energy right. Can’t get much of anything right. But they reasonably track global temperature anomaly with the proper tuning. Lots of errors adding up to a “correct” answer is BS, but it is still bought and sold.

  37. (1) How long until “climate change” is blamed for wind stilling?
    (2) How long until we are told that despite the decreases in wind speed for all of these percentiles, the top 1% extreme winds are/will increase due to climate change?

  38. I used to know a bloke who was a hydrologist in CSIRO. He showed me some data once which showed that 4000 years ago in the central Australian desert the prevailing winds were in a different direction from now. Based on dune orientation. So even during this interglacial things can be quite different. I doubt humans had anything to do with it.

  39. I’m sorry but it is blog posts like this that not only ignore but positively in crease the possible reduction of another possible rare resource. Unremarked and unresearched the depletion of this resource could have dire consequences for our civilisation and our planet.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about “Levity”. The copious use of large amounts of levity in this thread demonstrates the complete disregard denizens here have for the squandering of a precious and possibly rare resource. We have no idea just how much levity is available, or whether or not it is renewable so this constant use of levity on frivolous topics really needs to stop.

    People need to stop and think before indulging in unrestrained levity. I mean, what would happen if the levity ran out half way through a sentence? Disaster. We need to control our use of levity until far more research is done into this vital resource. We need to know how much is available and where it comes from. should we ration and control the use of levity?

    Take heed and take care people, it could be worse than we think.

    [The mods wonder: “Levity. Or bacon. .mod]

    • Oh Dear! What can the matter be?
      Seven old ladies got lost in the Levity.
      They were there from Sunday to Saturday-
      Nobody knew they were there.

  40. The pattern of climatological wind speeds in CMIP5 simulations is also not consistent with the observations compared to the surface temperature simulation

    In other words, CMIP5 models don’t work.

    Gosh! Climate varies unpredictably! Of course, we could say that the poorly understand planetary atmospheric system is still poorly understood.

  41. If they had proof, like an increase in the time it takes for the planet to complete a rotation, I might believe them, but that hasn’t changed. If winds have slowed in one area, they’ve picked up in another. Works kind of like the cold. If we have a mild winter, someone else is getting plastered. Our planet is very, very well balanced.

  42. Every day commercial liners provide more than 150’000 “weather reports” by automated ACARS messages.
    Aircraft instruments are not metrological. A wet probe can cool the reading, therefore most outside temperature sensors are calibrated to overstate the actual temperature.

    The quality/quantity of data is pretty much fleet dependent.
    Windspeed/direction derived from maneuvering A/C is highly unreliable.

    Who uses such data and for what exact purpose is quite unclear to me, however my opinion is that they are not reliable for +/- 1/10 th or even +/- 1 C temperature models.

    Which can be a trap for those seeking sense in 1/100th C resolution based political actions.

    And no, there is no change of winds at altitude, we get the same bumpy rides as our predecessors did though we can now better avoid nasty spots.

    Puzzles me how low altitude can be so much affected when above it’s business as usual.

    Is there a boundary layer?

  43. …Around one third of the stations in North America, have experienced a huge decrease (over 30 percent) in wind power potential …

    What does this mean?

    Having followed up all the links, I am no wiser about precisely what they are measuring or how. I strongly suspect that this is just an excuse for the fact that wind power energy is going to be considerably less than promised. Probably because of that nasty CO2…

    • To me it’s just a sore excuse for the initially overstated potential of windmills.

      Or, but this is a calculation that I can’t perform, be simply due to extracting that much energy from the (local) system. Which is what windmills do. They generate electricity by converting airspeed to work.

  44. The overall energy content of the atmosphere, combining kinetic and heat components, would, I suspect, provide more useful information for understanding the system than modeling temperature or wind speed as presumably independent variables.

  45. If we are taking millions of megawatts out of the wind with windmills, how much is that affecting the wind patterns? Of course some will see this as a ridiculous assertion, but the energy converted to electricity is coming from somewhere. It has to affect the wind patterns as well.

  46. If the wind really has declined this much over this relatively short period of time, I would expect to see significant climate effects, as the wind plays a major role is redistributing heat around the globe.

    It’s important enough to start taking satellite measurements to allow better coverage and accuracy.

    • So windfarms kill hurricanes…but all of the pavement and buildings has a minimal effect on anything according to warmistas.

  47. Whenever you take power out of the natural wind patterns (by turning wind into electricity) you are going to have an effect. It has been noted that there is a “wind shadow” that reduces the force of winds behind wind turbines, which is obviously caused by “stealing” the wind power through the generation of electricity. This is simple physics. So the proliferation of wind farms is just going to make the reduced wind scenario worse. We have met the wind thief and it is us.

    • “So the proliferation of wind farms is just going to make the reduced wind scenario worse. ”
      But…but…isn’t that what they want? No change whatsoever?
      (I guess not. No Headlines in that.)

  48. I skimmed the comments and most if not all of my thoughts have been discussed already, but I’m going to type it out anyway.
    <blockquote<…global climate models (GCM) cannot replicate the long-term changes on wind energy…"
    …proving once again that GCM’s are useless beyond a couple of days.

    Developing clean and renewable energy is a major component of those efforts for its significant contribution to reducing carbon emission to the atmosphere…”

    …then why are you building wind turbines that require mining rare earths that aren’t easy to mine so produce mucho CO2 due to the fossil fuels burned to mine them, atop concrete bases of many tons per tower that also produce copious quantities of carbon dioxide.

    In 2016, renewable energy contributes more than 19% to the global final energy consumption.”

    Insert Tim Allen “Heaugh…?” In what universe? Where did they get that number? How…? Do they have to include, under “…renewables…” all hydropower, as well as every dried (we hope) cowflop burned in every grass hut across the world? So why would they include all that when they want to talk about wind power, a source that produced 1.9% (IIRC, I’m not going to look it up) of all energy consumed, worldwide? I’m surprised no one else called them on this!

    But setting all of that aside, this study is at least an improvement over many we have discussed, because this one actually uses data. But (I could try to turn this into one of those good new/bad news posts, but I don’t think it’s worth the effort) nonetheless the next thing that occurs to me is…

    Bad Data. I’m not going to read the report, but (this is a new one, I haven’t seen anyone else discuss this aspect) I don’t know how the database was assembled. I see no discussion of the equipment used, if it’s still the same piece of equipment after 30 years, could it just be slowing down due to gummed up bearings, and numerous other problems in a similar vein? Has it been calibrated? I understand they used multiple instruments, but did they stay consistent over the years, or have there been multiple equipment swaps, by not just a new pristine one of the same thing, but something that uses a radically different method to measure air speed, over the years? What about location changes? And how much of the database was really measured, and how much was estimated, or model output? Or was this whole database assembled from wind turbine output? We (or at least I) just don’t know.

    The Bad Data could include insufficient data. If the measured 30 years is part of a longer cycle, there may well be a trend that’s not really a trend, but just the normal part of the cycle. It’s highly likely they don’t even have enough data to tell how long that cycle might be (assuming it’s cyclical, and based on what we have found out about weather just in my lifetime, it seems safer to assume that it is cyclical than to assume it’s flatline unless or until perturbed.)

    Even if the decline is real, could it be blamed on the wind turbines removing energy from the air movement? This line of thought has already been overdiscussed, I’ll drop it here.

    I do want to argue here, wind is not a result of temperature differentials, but a result of pressure differentials, which may be influenced or even created by temperature differentials (sorry for that quibble, but it bugged me). So if the Earth really has warmed (we just can’t tell given the state of our temperature monitoring equipment and the “adjustments” to the database(s)), isn’t reduced wind (if that’s real, see above) a direct result of that? In other words, why should anyone be surprised?

    This last one may be a part of the previous paragraph, or my first Bad Data paragraph, and since I don’t feel like narrowing it down I’m making it a separate paragraph. Lastly, Check Your Assumptions. And that may be enough said about that.

  49. Warming Alarmists get wind all wrong. They think warming will result in a far greater number of violent storms. If only they knew Climate Basics, like the fact that wind only blows because of temperature differences. As the world warms, the thermal potential reduces between the poles and the tropics, so you end up with less energy for wind. Wind far investors should have known this.

    But don’t worry Warming Alarmists. Stronger winds will be back in a decade or two as the natural climate cycle returns to the colder side of things — perhaps even our next Little Ice Age.

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