Conflict with the environment “To fight climate change”… Wind farms are changing the North Sea – Emerging for it?

From NoTricksZone

Via P Gosselin above 26. February 2022

Before being approved, large-scale projects in Germany – almost without exception – must be studied to determine their impact on the surrounding environment. This step seems to be skipped for wind farms in the North Sea.

Hat head: Die kalte Sonne.

Atmospheric awakening extends from the bottom to the top of the picture [contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (Sentinel 2A-MSI 29/03/2021), processed by ESA & Hereon/ Dr Martin Hieronymie]

A team of researchers led by Nils Christiansen from the Helmholtz Hereon Center has published a study on the impact of offshore wind farms on ocean dynamics. The focus is on the weakening winds and accompanying changes in the material conditions of the affected areas of the North East Sea.

Turbines consume energy from the wind

Wind turbines create obstacles to water and air. The influences are of great importance for the planning of future offshore wind farms. The study appears in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The majestic image of the offshore wind fields on the North Sea looking down on the sparkling water was etched in everyone’s mind. But what are the implications associated with this important building block of Germany’s energy transition?

Research by Hereon Institute for Coastal Systems – Analysis and Simulation Modeling of wind speed attenuation at the shores of parks. Evidence for this phenomenon was recently provided by a Hereon group whose research appears in the journal Nature (Akthar et al., 2021).

Turbines weaken the wind as they extract kinetic energy to generate electricity. The tendency of wind turbines, the so-called atmospheric vortexes to develop. They are characterized by reduced wind speeds as well as exceptional pressure conditions and increased air turbulence. Under stable atmospheric conditions, deficient wind speeds can propagate up to 70 km behind wind farms.

When the wind dies

Using high-resolution hydrodynamic computer simulations, the team analyzed the impacts on the southern North Sea during the summer of 2013 (May to September). The analysis revealed a link between the eddy and changes in the momentum exchange between the atmosphere and the water. This can affect horizontal flows and water stratification.

The impact of the whirlpool is strong enough to redirect existing flows, resulting in changes in mean temperature and salinity distribution in areas of wind farms. “The changes that do occur are still within the range of year-to-year variability. However, they show similar magnitudes to the average changes attributed to climate change or to annual variation,” said Nils Christiansen, of the Hereon Institute for Coastal Systems, lead author of the study. , said.

Changing the way to re-stratify the North Sea

Another consequence of whirlpools is to reduce the processes associated with sliding on the surface of the sea. In other words, the turbulent mixing of the water surface caused by the wind reduces tens of kilometers around the wind farm. Water is often stratified, for example, a layer of warmer water on top of a layer of colder water. Wind farms disrupt this natural stratification. Because mixing is reduced, a more stable stratification of water is preferred. This is especially noticeable during summer stratified decline.

The natural stratification of the water is particularly prominent in the summer and diminishes in the fall. However, in the area of ​​the wind farm, a more stable stratification was calculated outside of the seasonal variation.

Impact on plankton production and food systems

“The magnitude of the average-induced changes does not indicate severe local effects, but far-reaching structural changes in the system do occur,” Christiansen said. “Changes in runoff and mixing can affect plankton production and food systems, and can affect how protected areas function.

It is therefore important to consider these consequences when developing marine protection concepts,” says Hereon Institute Director Professor Corinna Schrum. A change in this exchange could affect atmospheric conditions in the area and ecosystem dynamics, and will be the subject of further studies.

Original Publishing: Christiansen N, Daewel U, Djath B and Schrum C (2022) The emergence of large-scale hydrodynamic structures awakened by the offshore atmosphere. The brazenness. March Science Fiction. 9: 818501.

doi: 10.3389 / fmars.2022.818501

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