This coalition of scientists from industry, government, nongovernmental organizations and universities met recently in Racine, Wisc., to address unanswered questions about how continued wind energy development will affect migrating birds and bats. The meeting was hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the American Bird Conservancy and the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.
”Billions of birds migrate annually, taking advantage of the same wind currents that are most beneficial for producing wind energy,” said Andrew Farnsworth, a postdoctoral research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology who serves on the steering committee of the coalition. “We know that in some locations a small percentage of wind turbines may cause the majority of bird and bat deaths. As wind power develops further, we need to know more about how placement, design and operation impact birds and bats as well as how habitat and weather conditions affect potential hazards,” he said.
The scientists addressed some of the critical information that could be collected using such cutting-edge tools as weather surveillance radar, thermal imaging and microphones directed skyward to map migrations by day and night. New research will build upon monitoring and research studies of birds and bats before and after construction of existing wind energy facilities as well as work done by other researchers.
”Conducting this research will help the wind industry make informed, science-based decisions about where future wind energy projects can be built and how they can be operated to minimize the impact on migrating wildlife, while still providing much-needed alternative energy,” said John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who also attended the meeting with Chris Clark, director of the lab’s Bioacoustics Research Program; Kenneth Rosenberg, director of the lab’s Conservation Science Program; and Martin Piorkowski, a biologist and project coordinator for the lab. “It will also help flesh out specific guidelines for wind farm construction being developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
The coalition, which appointed working groups to move this new research agenda forward, identified such top research priorities as:
• Studying bird and bat behaviors, and more accurately estimating mortality at existing wind turbines;
• Using current and newly obtained information on bird and bat population numbers and distribution to focus research on critically important migratory routes and timing;* Documenting how interactions of birds and bats with turbines are
• Conducting research on best practices for mitigating the impacts of wind energy development on birds and bats.
”Imagine if a similar effort had taken place at the turn of the 20th century with the auto industry and air quality,” added Kraig Butrum, president and CEO of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, an umbrella organization for the wind energy industry and environmental groups. “We’d probably be in a completely different place when it comes to global climate change and energy dependence, because we considered environmental impact from the start.”
Blaine Friedlander | Newswise Science News
Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News