Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, xxvi, 189 pages) : illustrations (some color), maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Liming Zhou

Committee Members

Justin R. Minder, David R. Fitzjarrald, Jeffrey M. Freedman


numerical model, wind farm, Wind power plants, Wind turbines, Earth temperature, Vegetation and climate, Crops and climate

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences


In the most recent decade, wind energy has experienced exponential growth worldwide and this rapid increase is expected to continue, particularly over farmlands in the United States. This poses an important question regarding whether the widespread deployment of wind turbines (WTs) will influence surface/near-surface microclimate and vegetation growth. In this dissertation, I investigate the potential wind farm (WF) impacts on regional climate and vegetation growth from both observational and modeling perspectives. High resolution satellite, radiosonde and field observations are used to determine the magnitude and variability of WF-induced changes on surface/near-surface temperatures while the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to simulate these changes in real-world WFs at regional scales and to uncover the physical processes behind the simulated temperature changes.