Industry scale application of solar panels and global climate

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Thursday, 8 January 2015
Aixue Hu, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. Levis, G. Meehl, W. Han, W. M. Washington, K. Oleson, and G. Strand

The burning of fossil fuel is causing an elevation of the greenhouse gas concentration in air and potentially impact the global climate significantly. On the other hand, the fossil fuel will eventually be running out in the future. This implies that mankind has to rely on the renewable energy. If large scale application of renewable energy becomes necessary, it is important to evaluate the impact of this change on global climate. Here we use the new generation start-of-the-art climate model to study the potential impact of the solar panels on global and regional climate. It is found that the solar panel can induce regional cooling effect due to the conversion of the incoming solar energy to electricity. As the electricity is consumed in urban regions, the waste heat would rise the regional and global temperature. Both of these processes will modulate the global atmospheric circulation, and further affect the regional and global precipitation patterns.