The Environmental Protection Agency considers an Air Quality Index of 100 or above to pose health risks. As of 1 p.m. PT on Thursday, Santa Barbara's AQI for small particulates had climbed to 363--by far the worst in the country, according to the EPA site Airnow.gov, That's higher even than the AQI in places like Ojai and Ventura that are actually on fire. It means that even perfectly healthy adults might suffer some effects, while those in vulnerable groups--small children, the elderly, and those with lung or heart conditions--could face serious risks. It's close to the 400-plus AQI that Napa experienced during the fires there in October, and far worse than what the rest of the Bay Area saw.
Wind-generated electricity has expanded greatly over the past decade. In the U.S., for example, by 2018 wind was generating 6.6% of utility-scale electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The criteria for efficient design and reliable operation of the familiar horizontal-axis wind turbines have been well established through decades of experience, leading to ever-larger structures over time, both to intercept more wind and to reach faster winds higher up. As these gargantuan turbines are assembled into large wind farms, often spread over uneven terrain, complex aerodynamic interactions between them have become increasingly important. To address this issue, researchers have proposed protocols that slightly reorient individual turbines to improve the output of others downwind, and they are working with wind farm operators to assess their real-life performance.