The centennial trends in the surface wind speed over North America are deduced from global climate model simulations in the Climate Model Intercomparison Project - Phase 5 (CMIP5) archive. Using the 21st century simulations under the RCP 8.5 scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, 5-10 percent increases per century in the 10 m wind speed are found over Central and East-Central United States, the Californian Coast, and the South and East Coasts of the USA in winter. In summer, climate models projected decreases in the wind speed ranging from 5 to 10 percent per century over the same coastal regions. These projected changes in the surface wind speed are moderate and imply that the current estimate of wind power potential for North America based on present-day climatology will not be significantly changed by the greenhouse gas forcing in the coming decades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science