Trouble in wind land -- wind speeds are diminishing

http://www.cleveland.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/national-3/124463459133860.xml&storylist=washington

There will be an interesting item appearing in the up-coming Journal of Geophysical Research in August. Iowa State University researchers say US wind speeds are diminishing because of global warming.

That is not a surprising result if you believe the globe really is warming up. Winds are generated by temperature differences. In a global warming scenario, the absolute difference between the hottest and coldest global temperatures diminishes. Thus, winds should also diminish.

What I find surprising in the AP item above is the statement by a NASA source:

"A naysayer is Gavin Schmidt, a NASA climate scientist in New York who said the results conflict with climate models that show no effect from global warming."

I am certainly no climate expert but I wonder how absolute global temperature differences can diminish without affecting wind speeds.

Also interesting is the reaction of the American Wind Energy Association. Obviously, if wind speeds are diminishing, it affects how much power you can potentially generate with wind turbines. AWEA didn't come out and pooh-pooh the research, but they did find somebody to say "a cautionary response" is warranted:

http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.4153

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