According to the UK's government statistics, 13 of the past 16 months have been less windy than average – while 2010 was the "stillest" year of the decade. Furthermore, meteorologists warn that a shift in the Atlantic jet stream could alter wind patterns over the next 40 years, leaving many of the UK's power-generating turbines without sufficient wind.
Statistics back up the claim that winds sweeping across the British Isles are weakening. Last year, wind speeds over the UK averaged 8.9 miles per hour, a decline of 20 percent compared to 2008, and far below the 10.5 mph average recorded over the past century.
Usually, the UK has rather warm and windy winters thanks to the Atlantic jet stream. However, the past two winters have featured frigid temperatures and calm winds as the jet stream diverted from its normal position. Meteorologists say that the position of the jet stream has been influenced by lower levels of activity on the sun. This decline in activity, according to some climate experts, could continue for 40 years, potentially disrupting turbine activity for nearly half a century.
[Source: The Telegraph | Image: the russians are here – C.C. License 2.0]