Bad news for wind power: globally, winds are slowing

Watts Up With That?

Of course, global warming, the universal boogey man, gets the blame

Near-surface wind speeds over landmasses across the planet have dropped by as much as 25% since the 1970s, and climate scientists are taking note. Michael Lucy reports.

The wind isn’t what it used to be. Scientists say surface wind speeds across the planet have fallen by as much as 25% since the 1970s. The eerie phenomenon – dubbed ‘stilling’ – is believed to be a consequence of global warming, and may impact everything from agriculture to the liveability of our cities. It has taken more than a decade for scientists to get a handle on stilling, a term coined by Australian National University ecohydrologist Michael Roderick in 2007.

Roderick had spent years studying a 50-year decline across Europe and North America of a climate metric called pan evaporation. It measures the rate at which water evaporates from a dish…

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