Wind turbines are the world’s new ‘apex predators’, wiping out buzzards, hawks and other carnivorous birds at the top of the food chain, say scientists. A study of wind farms in India found that predatory bird numbers drop by three quarters in areas around the turbines. This is having a ‘ripple effect’ across the food chain, with small mammals and reptiles adjusting their behaviour as their natural predators disappear from the skies. Birds and bats were assumed to be most vulnerable to the rise of the landscape-blotting machines. But their impact is reverberating across species, experts warned, upsetting nature’s delicate balance.
Daily Mail 14th Nov 2018 read more »
A spinning turbine that can capture wind travelling in any direction and could transform how consumers generate electricity in cities has won its inventors a prestigious international award and £30,000 prize. Nicolas Orellana, 36, and Yaseen Noorani, 24, MSc students at Lancaster University, scooped the James Dyson award for their O-Wind Turbine, which – in a technological first – takes advantage of both horizontal and vertical winds without requiring steering. Conventional wind turbines capture wind travelling only in one direction, and are notoriously inefficient in cities where wind trapped between buildings becomes unpredictable. In 2015, the “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper on Fenchurch Street in London was believed responsible for creating a wind tunnel that knocked down shop signs and toppled pedestrians. Originally from Chile and Kenya respectively, Orellana and Noorani were crowned the international winners of this year’s James Dyson award on Thursday, having already clinched the top prize in the UK. Their entry beat thousands of others from 27 different countries.
Guardian 15th Nov 2018 read more »