This image contrasts the past--a wind pump used to draw water from farm wells for cattle, and the future--modern wind turbines. Both are examples of environmentally sustainable technology. The wind turbines are part of the Cedar Creek wind farm east of Grover, Colo. Completed in 2007, Cedar Creek includes more than 250 turbines and generates roughly 300 megawatts of energy. As wind energy grows in importance, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are studying how wind turbines and farms interact with the atmosphere, and how their output can be better predicted and managed.
Located in Boulder, Colo., and funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR is a focal point for research in the field of atmospheric sciences. NCAR has about 750 scientists and support personnel and provides the university science and teaching community with the tools, facilities and support required to perform innovative research. Through NCAR, scientists gain access to high-performance computational and observational facilities, such as supercomputers, aircraft and radar--resources researchers need to improve human understanding of atmospheric and Earth system processes. NCAR and university scientists work together on research topics in atmospheric chemistry, climate, cloud physics and storms, weather hazards to aviation, and interactions between the sun and Earth. In all of these areas, scientists are looking closely at the role of humans in both creating climate change and responding to severe weather occurrences.
NCAR is managed under a cooperative agreement between the Foundation and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a nonprofit consortium of 68 North American universities with graduate programs in atmospheric sciences. For more information about NCAR, visit the facility's website. (Date of Image: unknown)