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Lorenz effect and wind turbines

  1. Apr 14, 2016 #1
    As more wind turbines are installed worldwide, I was wondering how much of an impact on weather they could/would have. (Full disclosure: I am not trained, merely an interested non-scientist) Collectively, wind turbines are collecting considerably more energy than Lorenz's butterfly, so could the extraction of energy from wind cross the threshold from trivial to significant?
    My understanding of complex/chaotic systems is that while we cannot predict the specific outcome brought about by a change in initial conditions, we know with some certainty that the system will change.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2016 #2
    The areas that are suitable for wind turbines would, in the absence of humans, have been covered with trees in most cases. Those trees would have been receiving kinetic energy from the wind, reducing the wind's energy and altering the weather. That being the case, I prefer to suppose wind turbines are reversing unwanted butterfly effects on the weather created when man cleared the trees.
  4. Apr 14, 2016 #3
    Wind turbines reside in the lowest portion of the atmospheric boundary layer. If you had a few hundred of them off the coast, then maybe you could dissipate some energy from a hurricane. But this whole butterfly effect thing isnt real.
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