Surprise: Study Shows Mass Solar Farms Could Cause Lots Of Environmental And Warming Issues

Let me ask: what happens when you take an area, cut down most of the trees, put up tons of homes with all sorts of roadways and sidewalks? You get an artificial increase in the local temperature, as you’ve changed the land. This is part of the land use theory on climatic change. It’s also linked to the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). You’re changing the ability of the land to receive and radiate solar radiance, with asphalt, concrete, and buildings to hold that heat longer, while changing the way the air flows over the area, which causes slight changes in the weather. And eliminated wildlife areas. What happens when you slap up a ton of solar panels?

Study warns solar farms could unleash unintended consequences on the environment, including global warming

A new study finds there could be unintended consequences of constructing massive solar farms in deserts around the world. The eye-opening research claims that huge solar farms, such as in the Sahara, could usher in environmental crises, including altering the climate and causing global warming.

The study was carried out by Zhengyao Lu, a researcher in Physical Geography at Lund University, and Benjamin Smith, director of research at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. The results of their research were published in a Feb. 11 article in The Conversation.

Solar panels are darker colors such as black and blue to attract and absorb more heat, but they are usually much darker than the ground around the solar panel. The post cites an article that claims most solar panels are between 15% and 20% efficient in converting sunlight into usable energy. The researchers assert that the rest of the sunlight is returned to the surrounding environment as heat, “affecting the climate.”

The article notes that in order to replace fossil fuels, solar farms would need to be enormous — covering thousands of square miles, according to this article. Solar farms of this magnitude potentially present environmental consequences, not just locally but globally.

Not to mention all the industrial digging that would need to be done to get the rare earth elements and pollution left behind by production and from damaged and useless and end of life panels.

From The Conversation:

The model revealed that when the size of the solar farm reaches 20% of the total area of the Sahara, it triggers a feedback loop. Heat emitted by the darker solar panels (compared to the highly reflective desert soil) creates a steep temperature difference between the land and the surrounding oceans that ultimately lowers surface air pressure and causes moist air to rise and condense into raindrops. With more monsoon rainfall, plants grow and the desert reflects less of the sun’s energy, since vegetation absorbs light better than sand and soil. With more plants present, more water is evaporated, creating a more humid environment that causes vegetation to spread.Turning the Sahara desert into a lush, green oasis could have climate ramifications around the planet, including affecting the atmosphere, the ocean, the land, changing entire ecosystems, altering precipitation in Amazon’s rainforests, inducing droughts, and potentially triggering more tropical cyclones.

The Sahara has been lush in the past. Would it really be bad if it was again? The only way to truly know would be to make it happen. But, we do know that covering vast swaths of the Sahara, and other deserts, into solar farms would increase the night-time warmth, instead of seeing the big radiative cooling that is the norm. Deserts often get cool to cold in the night. What kind of effect will this have if you keep it warmer at night? Might it create more hurricanes and tropical systems? Or create less?

The good-intentioned effort to lower the world’s temperature could potentially do the opposite and increase the planet’s temperature, according to the researchers.

Covering 20% of the Sahara with solar farms raises local temperatures in the desert by 1.5°C according to our model. At 50% coverage, the temperature increase is 2.5°C. This warming is eventually spread around the globe by atmosphere and ocean movement, raising the world’s average temperature by 0.16°C for 20% coverage, and 0.39°C for 50% coverage. The global temperature shift is not uniform though – the polar regions would warm more than the tropics, increasing sea ice loss in the Arctic. This could further accelerate warming, as melting sea ice exposes dark water which absorbs much more solar energy.

Oops? This is how you turn land use/UHI into a global issue, much like we see with urban and suburban areas around the world. It’s not global, but appears global. This is the Law Of Unintended Consequences, of Unintended Good Intentions. It would be so much easier if Warmists just gave up their own use of fossil fuels, stopped eating meat, and move into off the grid homes.

Also, instead of spending huge amounts of money slapping up wind and solar projects willy nilly, use it for R&D to make better, more environmentally friendly solar and wind, along with ways to store the energy.

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6 Responses to “Surprise: Study Shows Mass Solar Farms Could Cause Lots Of Environmental And Warming Issues”

  1. Est1950 says:

    A no brained idea here.

    Biden declared that the USA will be NET ZERO BY (((((((((((((((2050))))))))))))))))))

    And yet John Kerry said the other day we only have 9 years remaining. A crisis of immense proportions.

    The left wants your guns, and want to deprive the military of fossil fuels in order to conduct any sort of operations that would keep the world and the USA safe.

    The problem with Solar and wind is that they have to be replaced. Windmills on average need an overhaul every 12 years and from the day they are made solar panels begin degrading to the point they also need to be replaced.

    IF you end fossil fuels in any significant manner in the next 30 years you will end the USA’s ability to meet the net zero carbon emissions because it takes Fossil fuels to make GREEN ENERGY and I don’t mean just burning fuel I mean lubricants and chemicals made from Natural gas and Oil and COAL.

    When the power goes out, the people are starving and the water is undrinkable and the toilets dont flush!!!!!!!

    The net zero result of that will be Hairy and Elwood’s of the world having giant targets painted on their backs.

    So I say let the AGW crowd run every company, every corporation out of business. Turn off the lights to UNIVERSITIES a breeding ground of communist utopia and let the world burn as china turns its sights on land grabbing around the world.

    Lets see how long it takes for the USA to string up the crazed communists owned and operated by China.

    We can make the world green through wise and decisive decision making. Not a random we will be net zero in 30 years. Yeah How? Details to follow….In about 20 years I’ll get back to you on what we will do to go NET ZERO.

    In the meantime the DC plan is to keep Americans at each other’s throats over hot button issues while they enrich themselves from PAC money to keep LOWES, HOME DEPOT, WALMART,TARGET, AMAZON, APPLE, MICROSOFT and pick your mega corporation in business and making even more money as they run MOM AND POP OUT OF BUSINESS and put them on welfare.

  2. Hairy says:

    10,000 km !!!! OMG
    Teach really did you even bother to check the math on that one ?again you are happy to believe what you most want to believe.
    10000 KM !!!!!!
    Wait ….. how big of an area is that anyway???

    Shit Teach thst is only an area 62 miles on each side
    Nowhere near 20%of the Sahara
    A better vo.parison would be how large of an state supply all the energy needs of the usa? Correct me if I am wrong (but pleaseusean updatedeffiecymodel) I think I recall an area 10 milesby 10 miles square
    As far as solar degradingcurrent panels are warranted for 25or30 years at 80% about the same as fossil fueled thermal plants.0f course thesolsrpandlsarestillproducing powetjust lessthan 80% the actual usefulife is probably twice that

  3. Hairy says:

    Googling the useful life of a wind turbine seems to indicate a time span of 20-25 years before being rebuilt
    I am unsure where 1950 got his 14 years

    Wind turbine technology like solar is improving greatly every year

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