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Will U.S. wind power weather global warming?

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Warming global temperatures and the resulting changes in weather patterns are unlikely to affect the long-term viability of wind power in the mainland United States.

Massachusetts' Cape Wind project is located in an area that provides steady wind gusts.

Warming global temperatures and the resulting changes in weather patterns are unlikely to affect the long-term viability of wind power in the mainland United States, university researchers have found.

Scientists at Indiana University’s (IU) Bloomington campus found that global warming will not have a significant affect on America’s Great Plains wind belt. Areas where warming models have predicted a decrease have not been hotbeds of wind power.

The study will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition later this week.

In February, multi-national teams of leading climate researchers identified a link between human activity and extreme weather events, in two separate reports.

The IU scientists postulated that a warmer atmosphere had the potential to affect wind density patterns; they believed that a long term study was necessary to inform policy makers of the potential impacts on wind power.

In other wind-related news, the Nantucket Sound Cape Wind project received the go ahead from the United States Department of Interior last week. The project application was fast tracked for approval last year.

Plans call for 130 wind turbines to be installed over the next two years. Meanwhile, commercial fishing interests have successfully lobbied government officials to scale back areas slated for wind development in Massachusetts.

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure