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By compiling meteorological wind data – derived from several sources – Cornell University and the Technical University of Denmark scientists have assembled the first full observational wind atlas of the Great Lakes.

The atlas bolsters the chances for developing wind energy in the region. Accurate wind data lives in a disjointed and disjunctive world. The researchers have meshed these data to create a high-definition atlas, using information gathered from weather stations, buoys, QuikSCAT (a NASA satellite that collects wind direction and speed data over water bodies) and satellites equipped with synthetic aperture radar, or SAR. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The lakes – touching eight states and two Canadian provinces – extend over 150,000 square miles, creating about 84 per cent of North America’s surface freshwater and 21 per cent of Earth’s total surface freshwater.

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