Ground-level climate at a peatland wind farm in Scotland is affected by wind turbine operation

Armstrong, Alona Barbara and Burton, Ralph and Lee, Susan and Mobbs, Stephen and Ostle, Nicholas John and Smith, Victoria and Waldron, Susan and Whitaker, Jeanette (2016) Ground-level climate at a peatland wind farm in Scotland is affected by wind turbine operation. Environmental Research Letters, 11 (4). ISSN 1748-9326

PDF (2016 ERL wind)
2016_ERL_wind.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


The global drive to produce low-carbon energy has resulted in an unprecedented deployment of onshore wind turbines, representing a significant land use change for wind energy generation with uncertain consequences for local climatic conditions and the regulation of ecosystem processes. Here, we present high-resolution data from a wind farm collected during operational and idle periods that shows the wind farm affected several measures of ground-level climate. Specifically, we discovered that operational wind turbines raised air temperature by 0.18 °C and absolute humidity (AH) by 0.03 g m−3 during the night, and increased the variability in air, surface and soil temperature throughout the diurnal cycle. Further, the microclimatic influence of turbines on air temperature and AH decreased logarithmically with distance from the nearest turbine. These effects on ground-level microclimate, including soil temperature, have uncertain implications for biogeochemical processes and ecosystem carbon cycling, including soil carbon stocks. Consequently, understanding needs to be improved to determine the overall carbon balance of wind energy.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Research Letters
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 May 2016 07:56
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 01:50