27 Feb '14, 6pm

Huge Offshore Wind Farms Could Tame Hurricanes

Huge Offshore Wind Farms Could Tame Hurricanes

What happened when the hurricane ran across thousands of offshore wind turbines? It sounds like a climate scientist's idea of a joke, but a new study has found that offshore wind farms could protect coastal cities by slowing hurricane winds and reducing storm surge. The spinning turbine blades of offshore wind farms can sap a hurricane's strength by slowing the rotating winds in the outer edge of the rotating storm—an action that leads to smaller waves and eventually slows the wind speeds of the entire hurricane. Simulations have shown that such effects could have significantly dampened the impact of real-life hurricanes Sandy, Isaac and Katrina, according to a new paper detailed in the 26 February 2014 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change . "We found that when wind turbines are present, they slow down the outer rotation winds of a hurricane," said Mark Jacobson, a p...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/wind/huge-...

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