Canada sized Solar and wind farms could make the Sahara Desert green again with double the rain

A team of scientists has concluded that deploying solar and wind farms across the region that the Sahara encompasses will produce significantly more rain, and therefore, natural vegetation, in the areas that they would exist. In what the study refers to as “albedo—precipitation—vegetation feedback” (albedo is basically the reflection of incident light and electromagnetic radiation), the models that scientists used would increase precipitation by 1.12 mm per day (.0441 inches). Translation? 16 inches per year of increased rain. That’s 16X what normally occurs in the most arid parts of the Sahara, and double that of the Sahel.

The researchers simulated the effects of around 79 terawatts of solar panels and 3 terawatts of wind turbines.

The world added about 100 GW of solar and 52 GW of wind in 2017.

Science- Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation

The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada), which presents challenges for the political, social, and economic systems that all of the 10 countries that would be involved have in place. Also, wind farms would initially — before natural vegetation grew and began to cool things and change the cycles — raise temperatures by 2 degrees C. Solar, 1 degree C.

More energy, more rain

Energy generation by wind and solar farms could reduce carbon emissions and thus mitigate anthropogenic climate change. But is this its only benefit? Li et al. conducted experiments using a climate model to show that the installation of large-scale wind and solar power generation facilities in the Sahara could cause more local rainfall, particularly in the neighboring Sahel region. This effect, caused by a combination of increased surface drag and reduced albedo, could increase coverage by vegetation, creating a positive feedback that would further increase rainfall.

Abstract

Wind and solar farms offer a major pathway to clean, renewable energies. However, these farms would significantly change land surface properties, and, if sufficiently large, the farms may lead to unintended climate consequences. In this study, we used a climate model with dynamic vegetation to show that large-scale installations of wind and solar farms covering the Sahara lead to a local temperature increase and more than a twofold precipitation increase, especially in the Sahel, through increased surface friction and reduced albedo. The resulting increase in vegetation further enhances precipitation, creating a positive albedo–precipitation–vegetation feedback that contributes ~80% of the precipitation increase for wind farms. This local enhancement is scale dependent and is particular to the Sahara, with small impacts in other deserts.

140 thoughts on “Canada sized Solar and wind farms could make the Sahara Desert green again with double the rain”

  1. I didn’t claim equivalence. But it would certainly contribute to global warming. (I don’t think there’s a lack of carbon for plants anyway.) (It seems like my comment is not appearing even though Vuukle claims it’s already sent… )

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  2. I didn’t claim equivalence. But it would certainly contribute to global warming. (I don’t think there’s a lack of carbon for plants anyway.)(It seems like my comment is not appearing even though Vuukle claims it’s already sent… )

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  3. Some of the unintended consequences are that the Arabian peninsula, Persia and inner Mongolia will green as well. Besides that, agriculture and people will return to the entire Sahara, as we know from archeology and accounts from Herodotes et co in 500 BCE and earlier Egyptian and Libyan sources. Most of the Sahara was inhabited and there were three great lakes as large as the great lakes of Canada. The farao’s boasted on monuments that they went to Libya to steal millions of cattle. Geologists, mapping studies of the many animal depictions in Saharan rock carvings and paleoclimatologists have for over two decades published a stream of articles demonstrating that the Farao’s probably were not boasting (although self aggrandizing was of course not beyond them) . It is not because your name is goat guy, but goats and over grazing probably have a larger role to play in the monsoon shift above the Sahara, than natural cycles could or could on their own. Today nature is not able to make the shift back to green unaided, but a positive feedback loop can be created by human intervention. It is not necessary to pave the Sahara with solar panels to do this. There are easier and more cost effective ways to double the amount of water in the Sahara and create the positive feedback loop imagined in the article. Desalination or Diverting 5% of the Congo river with a 1500 km canal is one of them. We’ve built 1500 km canals before (the Chinese have done so several times in there history and are building one now), Europe has built hundreds, America a couple, and we can do it again. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project will probably top out at USD 100Billion, and even if its double, it is still far cheaper than a 100% solar panel scheme. Nutrient River Run off from increased water flow coming out of Sahara and other rivers replaces phytoplankton seeding by wind. Fish populations go to the nutrients, they don’t die out. Wet here => dry there, is not how atmospheres wo

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  4. Some of the unintended consequences are that the Arabian peninsula Persia and inner Mongolia will green as well. Besides that agriculture and people will return to the entire Sahara as we know from archeology and accounts from Herodotes et co in 500 BCE and earlier Egyptian and Libyan sources. Most of the Sahara was inhabited and there were three great lakes as large as the great lakes of Canada. The farao’s boasted on monuments that they went to Libya to steal millions of cattle. Geologists mapping studies of the many animal depictions in Saharan rock carvings and paleoclimatologists have for over two decades published a stream of articles demonstrating that the Farao’s probably were not boasting (although self aggrandizing was of course not beyond them) .It is not because your name is goat guy but goats and over grazing probably have a larger role to play in the monsoon shift above the Sahara than natural cycles could or could on their own. Today nature is not able to make the shift back to green unaided but a positive feedback loop can be created by human intervention.It is not necessary to pave the Sahara with solar panels to do this. There are easier and more cost effective ways to double the amount of water in the Sahara and create the positive feedback loop imagined in the article. Desalination or Diverting 5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the Congo river with a 1500 km canal is one of them. We’ve built 1500 km canals before (the Chinese have done so several times in there history and are building one now) Europe has built hundreds America a couple and we can do it again. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project will probably top out at USD 100Billion and even if its double it is still far cheaper than a 100{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} solar panel scheme.Nutrient River Run off from increased water flow coming out of Sahara and other rivers replaces phyto

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  5. 1. Seems like we could do it cheaper with just films or fabric mesh if albedo is the only mechanism here and water is the only goal. 2. If it works in the sahara would it work in Vegas? Because that would actaully make economic/geopolitical sense. 3. I dont agree with your wringing out the sponge model. If you wring out the sponge you also decrease the dew point because relative humitidy is gone. 4. I wonder how small of a scale one can do this. Perhaps a small area to test. Say a sq mile with white inflateable fabric tents in the dessert. 5. Even better a cloud 9 buckminster city that can be parked over the dessert. 6. China is greening the dessert using trees to create cloud moisture. 7. There is no way humans will surive on earth unless we start to geoengineer large scale processes such as iron fertilization. Drone swarm motherships could move sand or even pure chelated iron one small bit at a time such things could be automated.

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  6. 1. Seems like we could do it cheaper with just films or fabric mesh if albedo is the only mechanism here and water is the only goal. 2. If it works in the sahara would it work in Vegas? Because that would actaully make economic/geopolitical sense. 3. I dont agree with your wringing out the sponge model. If you wring out the sponge you also decrease the dew point because relative humitidy is gone. 4. I wonder how small of a scale one can do this. Perhaps a small area to test. Say a sq mile with white inflateable fabric tents in the dessert. 5. Even better a cloud 9 buckminster city that can be parked over the dessert. 6. China is greening the dessert using trees to create cloud moisture. 7. There is no way humans will surive on earth unless we start to geoengineer large scale processes such as iron fertilization. Drone swarm motherships could move sand or even pure chelated iron one small bit at a time such things could be automated.

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  7. This article is simply a lie — sort of a long Trump tweet. The silliest lie is their plotting ‘renewables’ “Capacity”, which is meaningless, unless the sun is up 24 hours and the wind is always blowing at max speed for all windmills, wind/solar only net 20-30% of Capacity as output power, and they do so unreliably. I can’t put the graph up here, but actual ‘renewables’ energy worldwide is puny, far less than hydro or nuclear. (Google “World energy Use”) Further, saying “16 inches” of rain per year is enough to support crops in a region with no topsoil and low latitude is plain ignorant. California’s temperate Central Valley receives about that rainfall, but requires an additional 40″ of irrigation yearly. The article appears to be yet another attempt to mislead average folks about how best to finally address our environmental crises. It even ignores ocean problems, which this diversion of resources to foppery in the Sahara would aggravate. We’ve known for decades what to do*: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa Only the ‘successes’ of combustion and anti-nuclear propaganda has succeeded in bringing us to this point of dire need. Our descendants will rightly spit on our graves if we continue lazy thinking. Where are NextBigFuture’s editors? — Dr. A. Cannara 650 400 3071 * https://cgscholar.com/community/community_profiles/sustainability/community_updates/23864 https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/12/15/an-open-letter-to-environmentalists-on-nuclear-energy/ (Aussies) https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-nuclear-power-must-be-part-of-the-energy-solution-environmentalists-climate (Rhodes) https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/02/08/055844486/Nobel-Laureate-Underlines-Importance-of-Nuclear-Energy http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/11/23/0200000000AEN20171123007100320.html (Chu) https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ecomodernist-podcast/id1187756406 (Allison) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/opinion/to-slow-global-warming-we-need-nuclear-power.html http://climat

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  8. This article is simply a lie — sort of a long Trump tweet. The silliest lie is their plotting ‘renewables’ Capacity””” which is meaningless unless the sun is up 24 hours and the wind is always blowing at max speed for all windmills wind/solar only net 20-30{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Capacity as output power and they do so unreliably. I can’t put the graph up here but actual ‘renewables’ energy worldwide is puny”” far less than hydro or nuclear. (Google “”””World energy Use””””) Further”””” saying “”””16 inches”””” of rain per year is enough to support crops in a region with no topsoil and low latitude is plain ignorant. California’s temperate Central Valley receives about that rainfall”””” but requires an additional 40″””” of irrigation yearly.The article appears to be yet another attempt to mislead average folks about how best to finally address our environmental crises. It even ignores ocean problems”””” which this diversion of resources to foppery in the Sahara would aggravate.We’ve known for decades what to do*: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfaOnly the ‘successes’ of combustion and anti-nuclear propaganda has succeeded in bringing us to this point of dire need. Our descendants will rightly spit on our graves if we continue lazy thinking. Where are NextBigFuture’s editors?–Dr. A. Cannara650 400 3071* https://cgscholar.com/community/community_profiles/sustainability/community_updates/23864https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/12/15/an-open-letter-to-environmentalists-on-nuclear-energy/ (Aussies)https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-nuclear-power-must-be-part-of-the-energy-solution-environmentalists-climate (Rhodes)https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/02/08/055844486/Nobel-Laureate-Underlines-Importance-of-Nuclear-Energyhttp://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/11/23/0200000000AEN20171123007100320.html (Chu)https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ecomodernist-podcast/id1187756406 (Allison)”

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  9. The Sahara is already greening, along with most other deserts, due to CO2 fertilization. So I guess the smart play here is to just keeping on keeping on, right?

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  10. The Sahara is already greening along with most other deserts due to CO2 fertilization. So I guess the smart play here is to just keeping on keeping on right?

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  11. So… APART from agreeing with most of the “you’ve got to be kidding me” comments herein, which variously cite the silliness of paving near-all of the Sahara with solar panels and windmills (perhaps the ultimate Quixotean scheme?) in order to … take your pick … generate a lot of power FAR from where its needed, completely change the continent-wide ecosystem of the Sahara and Saheel, to cause uplift of atmosphere, yielding substantial increase in rain, greening the desert, lining the pockets of millions of UN paid workers and Chinese industrial foundaries… Apart from that, and spending no less than a Buck-A-Watt (i.e. 80+ trillion on 80+ trillion watts), and from my “What could go Wrong with That?” department, then you have the Law of Unintended Consequences aspect(s). ASPECT 1: Massive de-nourishment of the Amazon. Yep… remember the yearly cycle of Saharan dust storms and great windstorms that loft billions of tons of nanoscopic sand-blown dust particles across the entire Atlantic to finally come to rest over the forests of the Amazon? Yah, that’d end. Poor Amazon… destined to eventually lose its primary source of micronutrients. ASPECT 2: Same thing, Gulf Stream fertilization cease. Well… its not like the billions of tons of dusts are wrapped in bubble-wrap and delivered to the Amazon whole. No, as much as 90% of that dustry load is deposited directly into the Europe-bound Gulf Stream Atlantic current. Reminding y’all that IRON is critically lofted and deposited, and of primary importance in growing hundreds of billions of tons of phytoplankton, driving an entire fishy-cycle … upon which much of the First World depends for its fishy sustenance, well … that’d come crashing to a halt. ASPECT 3: WET here → DRY there The atmosphere is best viewed as a sponge, really. Moving over the oceans and rainforests and vegetated non-deserts, it tends to pick up moisture and humidity. Then, as most-everyone knows, lift it up (cool it), and it precipitates as clo

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  12. So…APART from agreeing with most of the you’ve got to be kidding me”” comments herein”” which variously cite the silliness of paving near-all of the Sahara with solar panels and windmills (perhaps the ultimate Quixotean scheme?) in order to … take your pick … generate a lot of power FAR from where its needed completely change the continent-wide ecosystem of the Sahara and Saheel to cause uplift of atmosphere yielding substantial increase in rain greening the desert lining the pockets of millions of UN paid workers and Chinese industrial foundaries… Apart from that and spending no less than a Buck-A-Watt (i.e. 80+ trillion on 80+ trillion watts)”” and from my “”””What could go Wrong with That?”””” department”” then you have the Law of Unintended Consequences aspect(s).ASPECT 1: Massive de-nourishment of the Amazon. Yep… remember the yearly cycle of Saharan dust storms and great windstorms that loft billions of tons of nanoscopic sand-blown dust particles across the entire Atlantic to finally come to rest over the forests of the Amazon? Yah that’d end. Poor Amazon… destined to eventually lose its primary source of micronutrients. ASPECT 2: Same thing Gulf Stream fertilization cease.Well… its not like the billions of tons of dusts are wrapped in bubble-wrap and delivered to the Amazon whole. No as much as 90{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of that dustry load is deposited directly into the Europe-bound Gulf Stream Atlantic current. Reminding y’all that IRON is critically lofted and deposited and of primary importance in growing hundreds of billions of tons of phytoplankton driving an entire fishy-cycle … upon which much of the First World depends for its fishy sustenance well … that’d come crashing to a halt. ASPECT 3: WET here → DRY thereThe atmosphere is best viewed as a sponge really. Moving over the oceans and rainforests and vegetated non-deserts it tends to pick up moisture and humidity.”

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  13. Actually… DECREASE albedo. Darker things (like solar panels) have LOWER albedo than sand. Just saying. I’m going to submit a related longer response at the top. GoatGuy

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  14. Actually… DECREASE albedo. Darker things (like solar panels) have LOWER albedo than sand. Just saying. I’m going to submit a related longer response at the top. GoatGuy

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  15. I blame Goats. They don’t eat, they eradicate. Lake Chad was an inland sea greater than the 3 lakes of Canada only a couple of thousands of years ago (prior to 3000BCE). In 2000 BC Farao’ wrote about going into Libya and catching hundreds of thousands of pieces of cattle and rock carvings of elephant and crocodiles are found everywhere in the Sahara. Herodotes corroborates that the Sahara was the region where the troglodytae (cavemen) lived and agriculture was performed close to Tibesti where we now have deserts. There is a Transaqua project concept that wants to connect the Congo Basin with lake Chad (Lake Chad Basin International Commission/ La Rouche foundation / Lake Chad replenishment project). Diverting five percent of the Congo stream is enough to fill the lake and regreen the entire area. The nations in the region and even Congo are not opposed to the idea. However, because there is concern power generation of the Inga Dams and navigation on the Congo River ‘might’ suffer, the project is stalled (but not entirely abandoned). Environmental studies to understand the impact of a canal are desired. Regional instability slows the discussions. Besides that, the Saharan Mountain regions have a lot of potential in re-greening the Sahara using dams. Plantation of hardy species by aerial drones is also a not entirely outlandish possibility. In Canada drone planting is already successfully pursued by a start up. Besides that MIT is playing with metal-organic frameworks (MOF’s) that can harvest water from the air on a daily basis. The are already working on a cheap aluminium alternative. They work in the desert and produce enough water for the daily needs of humans (and therefore their plants). More of the compound, more water. Yes, conditions are different but proof of concept is what lacks. All these ideas can be combined with what is mentioned in the article above.

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  16. I blame Goats. They don’t eat they eradicate.Lake Chad was an inland sea greater than the 3 lakes of Canada only a couple of thousands of years ago (prior to 3000BCE).In 2000 BC Farao’ wrote about going into Libya and catching hundreds of thousands of pieces of cattle and rock carvings of elephant and crocodiles are found everywhere in the Sahara. Herodotes corroborates that the Sahara was the region where the troglodytae (cavemen) lived and agriculture was performed close to Tibesti where we now have deserts.There is a Transaqua project concept that wants to connect the Congo Basin with lake Chad (Lake Chad Basin International Commission/ La Rouche foundation / Lake Chad replenishment project). Diverting five percent of the Congo stream is enough to fill the lake and regreen the entire area.The nations in the region and even Congo are not opposed to the idea.However because there is concern power generation of the Inga Dams and navigation on the Congo River ‘might’ suffer the project is stalled (but not entirely abandoned). Environmental studies to understand the impact of a canal are desired. Regional instability slows the discussions.Besides that the Saharan Mountain regions have a lot of potential in re-greening the Sahara using dams.Plantation of hardy species by aerial drones is also a not entirely outlandish possibility. In Canada drone planting is already successfully pursued by a start up. Besides that MIT is playing with metal-organic frameworks (MOF’s) that can harvest water from the air on a daily basis. The are already working on a cheap aluminium alternative. They work in the desert and produce enough water for the daily needs of humans (and therefore their plants). More of the compound more water. Yes conditions are different but proof of concept is what lacks.All these ideas can be combined with what is mentioned in the article above.

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  17. LOL, “solar is good so let’s cover one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in PV”. – who is “we” that will do the said covering? A global cabal of PV and wind fanatics to force 11 sovereign (and highly unstable) countries to do something? – who will pay for it? This is a typical ill-thought out laboratory “what-if” that has no relationship to reality. they didn’t even bother to look at a map and understand the topography (hint: the “Sahara” isn’t all flat sand dunes) or climate. All they did was find an empty place. They could have just as well said “let’s cover Australia with PV and windmills and see what happens”. It’s really moronic studies like this that chips away at any serious discussions about the climate and what are the best options to deal with increased temperatures. The AGW fanatics really look more and more like buffoons.

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  18. LOL solar is good so let’s cover one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in PV””. – who is “”””we”””” that will do the said covering? A global cabal of PV and wind fanatics to force 11 sovereign (and highly unstable) countries to do something? – who will pay for it? This is a typical ill-thought out laboratory “”””what-if”””” that has no relationship to reality. they didn’t even bother to look at a map and understand the topography (hint: the “”””Sahara”””” isn’t all flat sand dunes) or climate. All they did was find an empty place. They could have just as well said “”””let’s cover Australia with PV and windmills and see what happens””””. It’s really moronic studies like this that chips away at any serious discussions about the climate and what are the best options to deal with increased temperatures. The AGW fanatics really look more and more like buffoons.”””

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  19. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada)”. And this just to *increase* local; temperature by 1-2 C, and possibly make the region *a bit* less arid. And (as a later related post mentions) at the expense of $82 trillion. Totally ridiculous idea, a (bad) high school project. Why would any developed country, and any large energy company, invest in solar and wind in politically, socially and economically unstable regions, when you can make similar investments in, say, the southern US, Australia, southern Europe (e.g. interior southern and central Spain), China, … Any (ANY) other idea with regard to global projects, energy and environment, would be better. This whole ‘Sahara solar/greening’ idea pops up occasionally, because it speaks to people’s imagination. BTW, we are already achieving this same temperature increase through global warming.

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  20. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada)””.And this just to *increase* local; temperature by 1-2 C”” and possibly make the region *a bit* less arid.And (as a later related post mentions) at the expense of $82 trillion.Totally ridiculous idea a (bad) high school project.Why would any developed country and any large energy company invest in solar and wind in politically socially and economically unstable regions when you can make similar investments in say the southern US Australia southern Europe (e.g. interior southern and central Spain) China …Any (ANY) other idea with regard to global projects energy and environment would be better.This whole ‘Sahara solar/greening’ idea pops up occasionally because it speaks to people’s imagination.BTW”” we are already achieving this same temperature increase through global warming.”””

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  21. It does not sound like they have spent much time in a sandy desert. The reality is that planting a bunch of solar panels will just slow the sand near it causing it it build up until it buries the panels. This not only makes the arrays useless. It makes them a hazard as people and animals will walk on them, break them, and likely cut themselves with the sharp glass hidden in the sand. Sand storms will also etch the glass surfaces making them work very poorly. Wind mills are so tall, that they may not cause the same sand accumulations, or it may just take longer. There is the issue however of getting the poles to stand strait. Sand is not really a very good material to stand a massive poll on. It can be done, by driving hundreds of rods into the sand for each, but would cost a lot. Another possibility is to connect the windmill basses together with horizontal poles. Three such attachments should be able to keep the pole for the windmills vertical. Maintaining these things in the desert would be costly. And as soon as the poor realize there is copper and neodymium in those things they will break in and steal it. Just like the pyramids all looted. Sorry, just does not pass a reality check.

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  22. It does not sound like they have spent much time in a sandy desert.The reality is that planting a bunch of solar panels will just slow the sand near it causing it it build up until it buries the panels. This not only makes the arrays useless. It makes them a hazard as people and animals will walk on them break them and likely cut themselves with the sharp glass hidden in the sand.Sand storms will also etch the glass surfaces making them work very poorly.Wind mills are so tall that they may not cause the same sand accumulations or it may just take longer. There is the issue however of getting the poles to stand strait. Sand is not really a very good material to stand a massive poll on. It can be done by driving hundreds of rods into the sand for each but would cost a lot. Another possibility is to connect the windmill basses together with horizontal poles. Three such attachments should be able to keep the pole for the windmills vertical. Maintaining these things in the desert would be costly.And as soon as the poor realize there is copper and neodymium in those things they will break in and steal it. Just like the pyramids all looted.Sorry just does not pass a reality check.

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  23. Part of the reason the Sahara is a desert, is the air descending, that rose, and dumped it’s moisture in equatorial Africa. If you cause updrafts in what is now the Sahara, that air, as well as the air that once descended there must come down somewhere. As it descends, it’s pressure rises, and as PV=nRT demands, it’s temperature rises, lowering it’s relative humidity. This effect is the cause of most of the deserts in the world, either caused by the equatorial updrafts, or passing over mountain ranges. The other main cause of deserts is cold ocean currents offshore, where the prevailing winds are onshore. We have conservation of mass, so the air that rises, must come down somewhere. My point is this scheme runs the risk of just moving desert, rather than eliminating it.

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  24. Part of the reason the Sahara is a desert is the air descending that rose and dumped it’s moisture in equatorial Africa. If you cause updrafts in what is now the Sahara that air as well as the air that once descended there must come down somewhere. As it descends it’s pressure rises and as PV=nRT demands it’s temperature rises lowering it’s relative humidity. This effect is the cause of most of the deserts in the world either caused by the equatorial updrafts or passing over mountain ranges. The other main cause of deserts is cold ocean currents offshore where the prevailing winds are onshore.We have conservation of mass so the air that rises must come down somewhere. My point is this scheme runs the risk of just moving desert rather than eliminating it.

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  25. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada), which presents challenges for the political, social, and economic systems that all of the 10 countries that would be involved have in place. ” You mean the entire planet. It’d be a challenge for the entire planet.

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  26. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada) which presents challenges for the political social” and economic systems that all of the 10 countries that would be involved have in place. “”You mean the entire planet. It’d be a challenge for the entire planet.”””

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  27. https://goo.gl/images/jqhbGz A Canada-sized solar/wind farm in the Sahara would only produce a Canada-sized solar/wind farm because Canada is about the same size of the Sahara[like 300,000 sq mi difference]. I guess they’d have a little left over for greening?

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  28. Yawn. It would probably be cheaper to increase global temperatures to increase precipitation (seems to happen on its own anyway) and diverting ocean currents.

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  29. Yawn. It would probably be cheaper to increase global temperatures to increase precipitation (seems to happen on its own anyway) and diverting ocean currents.

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  30. Even after this supposed improvement this is still projected to be semiarid region… that’s better than a harsh desert but it’s not like this area will be all that good for agriculture.

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  31. Even after this supposed improvement this is still projected to be semiarid region… that’s better than a harsh desert but it’s not like this area will be all that good for agriculture.

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  32. Your statement about dry air coming down somewhere makes no sense. If the updrafts are indeed drawing moisture into the area then they will be introducing a net gain in humidity in the atmosphere in the effected regions.

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  33. Your statement about dry air coming down somewhere makes no sense. If the updrafts are indeed drawing moisture into the area then they will be introducing a net gain in humidity in the atmosphere in the effected regions.

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  34. thus mitigate anthropogenic climate change” This global warming scam is the best since the Catholic Church sold indulgences. I am in the wrong biz.

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  35. thus mitigate anthropogenic climate change””This global warming scam is the best since the Catholic Church sold indulgences. I am in the wrong biz.”””

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  36. Is the proposed mechanism, that the lower albedo panels, and the slower wind speeds will result in higher near surface air temperatures, that will produce a year long monsoon type weather pattern, as the result of a Canada sized updraft? That air will come down somewhere, drying that area out, unless it’s the Mediterranean, or some other ocean linked body of water. BTW: That’s why there are equatorial jungles all the way around the planet, unless it’s oceans, or mountains, with arid belts on either side. The higher incidence of sunlight near the equator causes a near year round updraft, which lifts water vapor high enough to precipitate. The air descends, warms, and becomes very dry, in the arid bands. The project might just end up moving around the aridity.

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  37. Is the proposed mechanism that the lower albedo panels and the slower wind speeds will result in higher near surface air temperatures that will produce a year long monsoon type weather pattern as the result of a Canada sized updraft?That air will come down somewhere drying that area out unless it’s the Mediterranean or some other ocean linked body of water. BTW: That’s why there are equatorial jungles all the way around the planet unless it’s oceans or mountains with arid belts on either side. The higher incidence of sunlight near the equator causes a near year round updraft which lifts water vapor high enough to precipitate. The air descends warms and becomes very dry in the arid bands. The project might just end up moving around the aridity.

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  38. Or, you can set up big tidally-filled solar stills along Western Sahara, and pipe it directly into irritation, greening up that coastline and increasing rain, and setting up progressively bigger and bigger ones to keep moving solar-desalinated water inwards as politics allows. But sure, let’s short-term-increase Saharan temps by 2C, that’s totally a good idea.

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  39. Or you can set up big tidally-filled solar stills along Western Sahara and pipe it directly into irritation greening up that coastline and increasing rain and setting up progressively bigger and bigger ones to keep moving solar-desalinated water inwards as politics allows.But sure let’s short-term-increase Saharan temps by 2C that’s totally a good idea.

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  40. I think there was some talk about moving some antarctic ice inland. Some link between the Antarctic spur and the tip of South America might allow the ice to be harvested

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  41. I think there was some talk about moving some antarctic ice inland. Some link between the Antarctic spur and the tip of South America might allow the ice to be harvested

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  42. And a solar/wind farm the size of Canada would employ a million people and empower millions more…. Do it – I’ll kick-in $150. Put my name on a panel. If windmills and solar installations will increase surface friction and increase albedo respectively, then the poor man’s version would simply be steel car ports with white roofs making shade.

    Reply
  43. And a solar/wind farm the size of Canada would employ a million people and empower millions more…. Do it – I’ll kick-in $150. Put my name on a panel.If windmills and solar installations will increase surface friction and increase albedo respectively then the poor man’s version would simply be steel car ports with white roofs making shade.

    Reply
  44. This is also another not very oft cited secondary effect of AGW: an increase in temperature would result in increased evaporation and thus, more clouds and rain. Clouds can cancel some of the heating on their own, and more rain is bad because… floods? Yeah, I get it that such precipitation won’t happen evenly across the globe, but probably concentrated in some areas where it already rains a lot, while other parts see nothing or very little of it. What’s probably more important is the global greening due to more CO2 to feed the plants. Vegetation biomass is very good at engineering more precipitation over its local region.

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  45. This is also another not very oft cited secondary effect of AGW: an increase in temperature would result in increased evaporation and thus more clouds and rain.Clouds can cancel some of the heating on their own and more rain is bad because… floods?Yeah I get it that such precipitation won’t happen evenly across the globe but probably concentrated in some areas where it already rains a lot while other parts see nothing or very little of it.What’s probably more important is the global greening due to more CO2 to feed the plants. Vegetation biomass is very good at engineering more precipitation over its local region.

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  46. The Sahara is already greening, along with most other deserts, due to CO2 fertilization. So I guess the smart play here is to just keeping on keeping on, right?

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  47. The Sahara is already greening along with most other deserts due to CO2 fertilization. So I guess the smart play here is to just keeping on keeping on right?

    Reply
  48. This article is simply a lie — sort of a long Trump tweet. The silliest lie is their plotting ‘renewables’ “Capacity”, which is meaningless, unless the sun is up 24 hours and the wind is always blowing at max speed for all windmills, wind/solar only net 20-30% of Capacity as output power, and they do so unreliably. I can’t put the graph up here, but actual ‘renewables’ energy worldwide is puny, far less than hydro or nuclear. (Google “World energy Use”) Further, saying “16 inches” of rain per year is enough to support crops in a region with no topsoil and low latitude is plain ignorant. California’s temperate Central Valley receives about that rainfall, but requires an additional 40″ of irrigation yearly. The article appears to be yet another attempt to mislead average folks about how best to finally address our environmental crises. It even ignores ocean problems, which this diversion of resources to foppery in the Sahara would aggravate. We’ve known for decades what to do*: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa Only the ‘successes’ of combustion and anti-nuclear propaganda has succeeded in bringing us to this point of dire need. Our descendants will rightly spit on our graves if we continue lazy thinking. Where are NextBigFuture’s editors? — Dr. A. Cannara 650 400 3071 * https://cgscholar.com/community/community_profiles/sustainability/community_updates/23864 https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/12/15/an-open-letter-to-environmentalists-on-nuclear-energy/ (Aussies) https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-nuclear-power-must-be-part-of-the-energy-solution-environmentalists-climate (Rhodes) https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/02/08/055844486/Nobel-Laureate-Underlines-Importance-of-Nuclear-Energy http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/11/23/0200000000AEN20171123007100320.html (Chu) https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ecomodernist-podcast/id1187756406 (Allison) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/opinion/to-slow-global-warming-we-need-nuclear-power.html http://climat

    Reply
  49. This article is simply a lie — sort of a long Trump tweet. The silliest lie is their plotting ‘renewables’ Capacity””” which is meaningless unless the sun is up 24 hours and the wind is always blowing at max speed for all windmills wind/solar only net 20-30{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Capacity as output power and they do so unreliably. I can’t put the graph up here but actual ‘renewables’ energy worldwide is puny”” far less than hydro or nuclear. (Google “”””World energy Use””””) Further”””” saying “”””16 inches”””” of rain per year is enough to support crops in a region with no topsoil and low latitude is plain ignorant. California’s temperate Central Valley receives about that rainfall”””” but requires an additional 40″””” of irrigation yearly.The article appears to be yet another attempt to mislead average folks about how best to finally address our environmental crises. It even ignores ocean problems”””” which this diversion of resources to foppery in the Sahara would aggravate.We’ve known for decades what to do*: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfaOnly the ‘successes’ of combustion and anti-nuclear propaganda has succeeded in bringing us to this point of dire need. Our descendants will rightly spit on our graves if we continue lazy thinking. Where are NextBigFuture’s editors?–Dr. A. Cannara650 400 3071* https://cgscholar.com/community/community_profiles/sustainability/community_updates/23864https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/12/15/an-open-letter-to-environmentalists-on-nuclear-energy/ (Aussies)https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-nuclear-power-must-be-part-of-the-energy-solution-environmentalists-climate (Rhodes)https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/02/08/055844486/Nobel-Laureate-Underlines-Importance-of-Nuclear-Energyhttp://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/11/23/0200000000AEN20171123007100320.html (Chu)https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ecomodernist-podcast/id1187756406 (Allison)”

    Reply
  50. This article is simply a lie — sort of a long Trump tweet. The silliest lie is their plotting ‘renewables’ “Capacity”, which is meaningless, unless the sun is up 24 hours and the wind is always blowing at max speed for all windmills, wind/solar only net 20-30% of Capacity as output power, and they do so unreliably. I can’t put the graph up here, but actual ‘renewables’ energy worldwide is puny, far less than hydro or nuclear. (Google “World energy Use”)

    Further, saying “16 inches” of rain per year is enough to support crops in a region with no topsoil and low latitude is plain ignorant. California’s temperate Central Valley receives about that rainfall, but requires an additional 40″ of irrigation yearly.

    The article appears to be yet another attempt to mislead average folks about how best to finally address our environmental crises. It even ignores ocean problems, which this diversion of resources to foppery in the Sahara would aggravate.

    We’ve known for decades what to do*: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa
    Only the ‘successes’ of combustion and anti-nuclear propaganda has succeeded in bringing us to this point of dire need. Our descendants will rightly spit on our graves if we continue lazy thinking.

    Where are NextBigFuture’s editors?

    Dr. A. Cannara
    650 400 3071

    * https://cgscholar.com/community/community_profiles/sustainability/community_updates/23864
    https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/12/15/an-open-letter-to-environmentalists-on-nuclear-energy/ (Aussies)
    https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-nuclear-power-must-be-part-of-the-energy-solution-environmentalists-climate (Rhodes)
    https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2017/02/08/055844486/Nobel-Laureate-Underlines-Importance-of-Nuclear-Energy
    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/11/23/0200000000AEN20171123007100320.html (Chu)
    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ecomodernist-podcast/id1187756406 (Allison)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/opinion/to-slow-global-warming-we-need-nuclear-power.html
    http://climatechange.environment.harvard.edu/joseph-lassiter
    http://www.nci.org/conf/rhodes/index.htm
    Lovelock 2013 — “We need nuclear power soon”…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYP22KfI8lw&feature=youtu.be or: https://tinyurl.com/y8d2hjqe
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1520658/Greens-guru-offers-to-bury-nuclear-waste-in-his-garden.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_IIY6qgerY&feature=youtu.be
    https://www.nytimes.com/video/science/earth/1194817109084/making-a-case-for-nuclear-power.html (2006)
    http://tinyurl.com/kn22qcn (Hansen, Caldeira, Emanuel, Wigley)
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2486894/Scientists-urge-climate-groups-nuclear-power-warn-wind-solar-fulfil-worlds-energy-needs.html
    http://decarbonisesa.com/2014/06/30/another-climate-scientist-joins-calls-for-nuclear/
    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/scientists-tell-greenies-embrace-nuclear-save-plan/2502717/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXTPKGuQhzQ&feature=youtu.be
    :

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  51. I didn’t claim equivalence. But it would certainly contribute to global warming. (I don’t think there’s a lack of carbon for plants anyway.) (It seems like my comment is not appearing even though Vuukle claims it’s already sent… )

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  52. I didn’t claim equivalence. But it would certainly contribute to global warming. (I don’t think there’s a lack of carbon for plants anyway.)(It seems like my comment is not appearing even though Vuukle claims it’s already sent… )

    Reply
  53. I didn’t claim equivalence. But it would certainly contribute to global warming. (I don’t think there’s a lack of carbon for plants anyway.)

    (It seems like my comment is not appearing even though Vuukle claims it’s already sent… )

    Reply
  54. Some of the unintended consequences are that the Arabian peninsula, Persia and inner Mongolia will green as well. Besides that, agriculture and people will return to the entire Sahara, as we know from archeology and accounts from Herodotes et co in 500 BCE and earlier Egyptian and Libyan sources. Most of the Sahara was inhabited and there were three great lakes as large as the great lakes of Canada. The farao’s boasted on monuments that they went to Libya to steal millions of cattle. Geologists, mapping studies of the many animal depictions in Saharan rock carvings and paleoclimatologists have for over two decades published a stream of articles demonstrating that the Farao’s probably were not boasting (although self aggrandizing was of course not beyond them) . It is not because your name is goat guy, but goats and over grazing probably have a larger role to play in the monsoon shift above the Sahara, than natural cycles could or could on their own. Today nature is not able to make the shift back to green unaided, but a positive feedback loop can be created by human intervention. It is not necessary to pave the Sahara with solar panels to do this. There are easier and more cost effective ways to double the amount of water in the Sahara and create the positive feedback loop imagined in the article. Desalination or Diverting 5% of the Congo river with a 1500 km canal is one of them. We’ve built 1500 km canals before (the Chinese have done so several times in there history and are building one now), Europe has built hundreds, America a couple, and we can do it again. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project will probably top out at USD 100Billion, and even if its double, it is still far cheaper than a 100% solar panel scheme. Nutrient River Run off from increased water flow coming out of Sahara and other rivers replaces phytoplankton seeding by wind. Fish populations go to the nutrients, they don’t die out. Wet here => dry there, is not how atmospheres wo

    Reply
  55. Some of the unintended consequences are that the Arabian peninsula Persia and inner Mongolia will green as well. Besides that agriculture and people will return to the entire Sahara as we know from archeology and accounts from Herodotes et co in 500 BCE and earlier Egyptian and Libyan sources. Most of the Sahara was inhabited and there were three great lakes as large as the great lakes of Canada. The farao’s boasted on monuments that they went to Libya to steal millions of cattle. Geologists mapping studies of the many animal depictions in Saharan rock carvings and paleoclimatologists have for over two decades published a stream of articles demonstrating that the Farao’s probably were not boasting (although self aggrandizing was of course not beyond them) .It is not because your name is goat guy but goats and over grazing probably have a larger role to play in the monsoon shift above the Sahara than natural cycles could or could on their own. Today nature is not able to make the shift back to green unaided but a positive feedback loop can be created by human intervention.It is not necessary to pave the Sahara with solar panels to do this. There are easier and more cost effective ways to double the amount of water in the Sahara and create the positive feedback loop imagined in the article. Desalination or Diverting 5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the Congo river with a 1500 km canal is one of them. We’ve built 1500 km canals before (the Chinese have done so several times in there history and are building one now) Europe has built hundreds America a couple and we can do it again. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project will probably top out at USD 100Billion and even if its double it is still far cheaper than a 100{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} solar panel scheme.Nutrient River Run off from increased water flow coming out of Sahara and other rivers replaces phyto

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  56. 1. Seems like we could do it cheaper with just films or fabric mesh if albedo is the only mechanism here and water is the only goal. 2. If it works in the sahara would it work in Vegas? Because that would actaully make economic/geopolitical sense. 3. I dont agree with your wringing out the sponge model. If you wring out the sponge you also decrease the dew point because relative humitidy is gone. 4. I wonder how small of a scale one can do this. Perhaps a small area to test. Say a sq mile with white inflateable fabric tents in the dessert. 5. Even better a cloud 9 buckminster city that can be parked over the dessert. 6. China is greening the dessert using trees to create cloud moisture. 7. There is no way humans will surive on earth unless we start to geoengineer large scale processes such as iron fertilization. Drone swarm motherships could move sand or even pure chelated iron one small bit at a time such things could be automated.

    Reply
  57. 1. Seems like we could do it cheaper with just films or fabric mesh if albedo is the only mechanism here and water is the only goal. 2. If it works in the sahara would it work in Vegas? Because that would actaully make economic/geopolitical sense. 3. I dont agree with your wringing out the sponge model. If you wring out the sponge you also decrease the dew point because relative humitidy is gone. 4. I wonder how small of a scale one can do this. Perhaps a small area to test. Say a sq mile with white inflateable fabric tents in the dessert. 5. Even better a cloud 9 buckminster city that can be parked over the dessert. 6. China is greening the dessert using trees to create cloud moisture. 7. There is no way humans will surive on earth unless we start to geoengineer large scale processes such as iron fertilization. Drone swarm motherships could move sand or even pure chelated iron one small bit at a time such things could be automated.

    Reply
  58. So… APART from agreeing with most of the “you’ve got to be kidding me” comments herein, which variously cite the silliness of paving near-all of the Sahara with solar panels and windmills (perhaps the ultimate Quixotean scheme?) in order to … take your pick … generate a lot of power FAR from where its needed, completely change the continent-wide ecosystem of the Sahara and Saheel, to cause uplift of atmosphere, yielding substantial increase in rain, greening the desert, lining the pockets of millions of UN paid workers and Chinese industrial foundaries… Apart from that, and spending no less than a Buck-A-Watt (i.e. 80+ trillion on 80+ trillion watts), and from my “What could go Wrong with That?” department, then you have the Law of Unintended Consequences aspect(s). ASPECT 1: Massive de-nourishment of the Amazon. Yep… remember the yearly cycle of Saharan dust storms and great windstorms that loft billions of tons of nanoscopic sand-blown dust particles across the entire Atlantic to finally come to rest over the forests of the Amazon? Yah, that’d end. Poor Amazon… destined to eventually lose its primary source of micronutrients. ASPECT 2: Same thing, Gulf Stream fertilization cease. Well… its not like the billions of tons of dusts are wrapped in bubble-wrap and delivered to the Amazon whole. No, as much as 90% of that dustry load is deposited directly into the Europe-bound Gulf Stream Atlantic current. Reminding y’all that IRON is critically lofted and deposited, and of primary importance in growing hundreds of billions of tons of phytoplankton, driving an entire fishy-cycle … upon which much of the First World depends for its fishy sustenance, well … that’d come crashing to a halt. ASPECT 3: WET here → DRY there The atmosphere is best viewed as a sponge, really. Moving over the oceans and rainforests and vegetated non-deserts, it tends to pick up moisture and humidity. Then, as most-everyone knows, lift it up (cool it), and it precipitates as clo

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  59. So…APART from agreeing with most of the you’ve got to be kidding me”” comments herein”” which variously cite the silliness of paving near-all of the Sahara with solar panels and windmills (perhaps the ultimate Quixotean scheme?) in order to … take your pick … generate a lot of power FAR from where its needed completely change the continent-wide ecosystem of the Sahara and Saheel to cause uplift of atmosphere yielding substantial increase in rain greening the desert lining the pockets of millions of UN paid workers and Chinese industrial foundaries… Apart from that and spending no less than a Buck-A-Watt (i.e. 80+ trillion on 80+ trillion watts)”” and from my “”””What could go Wrong with That?”””” department”” then you have the Law of Unintended Consequences aspect(s).ASPECT 1: Massive de-nourishment of the Amazon. Yep… remember the yearly cycle of Saharan dust storms and great windstorms that loft billions of tons of nanoscopic sand-blown dust particles across the entire Atlantic to finally come to rest over the forests of the Amazon? Yah that’d end. Poor Amazon… destined to eventually lose its primary source of micronutrients. ASPECT 2: Same thing Gulf Stream fertilization cease.Well… its not like the billions of tons of dusts are wrapped in bubble-wrap and delivered to the Amazon whole. No as much as 90{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of that dustry load is deposited directly into the Europe-bound Gulf Stream Atlantic current. Reminding y’all that IRON is critically lofted and deposited and of primary importance in growing hundreds of billions of tons of phytoplankton driving an entire fishy-cycle … upon which much of the First World depends for its fishy sustenance well … that’d come crashing to a halt. ASPECT 3: WET here → DRY thereThe atmosphere is best viewed as a sponge really. Moving over the oceans and rainforests and vegetated non-deserts it tends to pick up moisture and humidity.”

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  60. Actually… DECREASE albedo. Darker things (like solar panels) have LOWER albedo than sand. Just saying. I’m going to submit a related longer response at the top. GoatGuy

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  61. Actually… DECREASE albedo. Darker things (like solar panels) have LOWER albedo than sand. Just saying. I’m going to submit a related longer response at the top. GoatGuy

    Reply
  62. I blame Goats. They don’t eat, they eradicate. Lake Chad was an inland sea greater than the 3 lakes of Canada only a couple of thousands of years ago (prior to 3000BCE). In 2000 BC Farao’ wrote about going into Libya and catching hundreds of thousands of pieces of cattle and rock carvings of elephant and crocodiles are found everywhere in the Sahara. Herodotes corroborates that the Sahara was the region where the troglodytae (cavemen) lived and agriculture was performed close to Tibesti where we now have deserts. There is a Transaqua project concept that wants to connect the Congo Basin with lake Chad (Lake Chad Basin International Commission/ La Rouche foundation / Lake Chad replenishment project). Diverting five percent of the Congo stream is enough to fill the lake and regreen the entire area. The nations in the region and even Congo are not opposed to the idea. However, because there is concern power generation of the Inga Dams and navigation on the Congo River ‘might’ suffer, the project is stalled (but not entirely abandoned). Environmental studies to understand the impact of a canal are desired. Regional instability slows the discussions. Besides that, the Saharan Mountain regions have a lot of potential in re-greening the Sahara using dams. Plantation of hardy species by aerial drones is also a not entirely outlandish possibility. In Canada drone planting is already successfully pursued by a start up. Besides that MIT is playing with metal-organic frameworks (MOF’s) that can harvest water from the air on a daily basis. The are already working on a cheap aluminium alternative. They work in the desert and produce enough water for the daily needs of humans (and therefore their plants). More of the compound, more water. Yes, conditions are different but proof of concept is what lacks. All these ideas can be combined with what is mentioned in the article above.

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  63. I blame Goats. They don’t eat they eradicate.Lake Chad was an inland sea greater than the 3 lakes of Canada only a couple of thousands of years ago (prior to 3000BCE).In 2000 BC Farao’ wrote about going into Libya and catching hundreds of thousands of pieces of cattle and rock carvings of elephant and crocodiles are found everywhere in the Sahara. Herodotes corroborates that the Sahara was the region where the troglodytae (cavemen) lived and agriculture was performed close to Tibesti where we now have deserts.There is a Transaqua project concept that wants to connect the Congo Basin with lake Chad (Lake Chad Basin International Commission/ La Rouche foundation / Lake Chad replenishment project). Diverting five percent of the Congo stream is enough to fill the lake and regreen the entire area.The nations in the region and even Congo are not opposed to the idea.However because there is concern power generation of the Inga Dams and navigation on the Congo River ‘might’ suffer the project is stalled (but not entirely abandoned). Environmental studies to understand the impact of a canal are desired. Regional instability slows the discussions.Besides that the Saharan Mountain regions have a lot of potential in re-greening the Sahara using dams.Plantation of hardy species by aerial drones is also a not entirely outlandish possibility. In Canada drone planting is already successfully pursued by a start up. Besides that MIT is playing with metal-organic frameworks (MOF’s) that can harvest water from the air on a daily basis. The are already working on a cheap aluminium alternative. They work in the desert and produce enough water for the daily needs of humans (and therefore their plants). More of the compound more water. Yes conditions are different but proof of concept is what lacks.All these ideas can be combined with what is mentioned in the article above.

    Reply
  64. Some of the unintended consequences are that the Arabian peninsula, Persia and inner Mongolia will green as well.

    Besides that, agriculture and people will return to the entire Sahara, as we know from archeology and accounts from Herodotes et co in 500 BCE and earlier Egyptian and Libyan sources. Most of the Sahara was inhabited and there were three great lakes as large as the great lakes of Canada. The farao’s boasted on monuments that they went to Libya to steal millions of cattle. Geologists, mapping studies of the many animal depictions in Saharan rock carvings and paleoclimatologists have for over two decades published a stream of articles demonstrating that the Farao’s probably were not boasting (although self aggrandizing was of course not beyond them) .

    It is not because your name is goat guy, but goats and over grazing probably have a larger role to play in the monsoon shift above the Sahara, than natural cycles could or could on their own.

    Today nature is not able to make the shift back to green unaided, but a positive feedback loop can be created by human intervention.

    It is not necessary to pave the Sahara with solar panels to do this. There are easier and more cost effective ways to double the amount of water in the Sahara and create the positive feedback loop imagined in the article. Desalination or Diverting 5% of the Congo river with a 1500 km canal is one of them. We’ve built 1500 km canals before (the Chinese have done so several times in there history and are building one now), Europe has built hundreds, America a couple, and we can do it again. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project will probably top out at USD 100Billion, and even if its double, it is still far cheaper than a 100% solar panel scheme.

    Nutrient River Run off from increased water flow coming out of Sahara and other rivers replaces phytoplankton seeding by wind. Fish populations go to the nutrients, they don’t die out.

    Wet here => dry there, is not how atmospheres work. Since lack of evaporation energy is not an issue osmosis is a better analogy than a sponge.

    Also Extra aerosols put into the air by plants due to the increased green coverage in the Sahara provides the nuclei necessary for cloud formation.

    So yes, it is probably a good idea to re-green the Sahara to its former glory.

    Reply
  65. LOL, “solar is good so let’s cover one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in PV”. – who is “we” that will do the said covering? A global cabal of PV and wind fanatics to force 11 sovereign (and highly unstable) countries to do something? – who will pay for it? This is a typical ill-thought out laboratory “what-if” that has no relationship to reality. they didn’t even bother to look at a map and understand the topography (hint: the “Sahara” isn’t all flat sand dunes) or climate. All they did was find an empty place. They could have just as well said “let’s cover Australia with PV and windmills and see what happens”. It’s really moronic studies like this that chips away at any serious discussions about the climate and what are the best options to deal with increased temperatures. The AGW fanatics really look more and more like buffoons.

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  66. LOL solar is good so let’s cover one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in PV””. – who is “”””we”””” that will do the said covering? A global cabal of PV and wind fanatics to force 11 sovereign (and highly unstable) countries to do something? – who will pay for it? This is a typical ill-thought out laboratory “”””what-if”””” that has no relationship to reality. they didn’t even bother to look at a map and understand the topography (hint: the “”””Sahara”””” isn’t all flat sand dunes) or climate. All they did was find an empty place. They could have just as well said “”””let’s cover Australia with PV and windmills and see what happens””””. It’s really moronic studies like this that chips away at any serious discussions about the climate and what are the best options to deal with increased temperatures. The AGW fanatics really look more and more like buffoons.”””

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  67. 1. Seems like we could do it cheaper with just films or fabric mesh if albedo is the only mechanism here and water is the only goal.

    2. If it works in the sahara would it work in Vegas? Because that would actaully make economic/geopolitical sense.

    3. I dont agree with your wringing out the sponge model. If you wring out the sponge you also decrease the dew point because relative humitidy is gone.

    4. I wonder how small of a scale one can do this. Perhaps a small area to test. Say a sq mile with white
    inflateable fabric tents in the dessert.

    5. Even better a cloud 9 buckminster city that can be parked over the dessert.

    6. China is greening the dessert using trees to create cloud moisture.

    7. There is no way humans will surive on earth unless we start to geoengineer large scale processes such as iron fertilization. Drone swarm motherships could move sand or even pure chelated iron one small bit at a time such things could be automated.

    Reply
  68. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada)”. And this just to *increase* local; temperature by 1-2 C, and possibly make the region *a bit* less arid. And (as a later related post mentions) at the expense of $82 trillion. Totally ridiculous idea, a (bad) high school project. Why would any developed country, and any large energy company, invest in solar and wind in politically, socially and economically unstable regions, when you can make similar investments in, say, the southern US, Australia, southern Europe (e.g. interior southern and central Spain), China, … Any (ANY) other idea with regard to global projects, energy and environment, would be better. This whole ‘Sahara solar/greening’ idea pops up occasionally, because it speaks to people’s imagination. BTW, we are already achieving this same temperature increase through global warming.

    Reply
  69. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada)””.And this just to *increase* local; temperature by 1-2 C”” and possibly make the region *a bit* less arid.And (as a later related post mentions) at the expense of $82 trillion.Totally ridiculous idea a (bad) high school project.Why would any developed country and any large energy company invest in solar and wind in politically socially and economically unstable regions when you can make similar investments in say the southern US Australia southern Europe (e.g. interior southern and central Spain) China …Any (ANY) other idea with regard to global projects energy and environment would be better.This whole ‘Sahara solar/greening’ idea pops up occasionally because it speaks to people’s imagination.BTW”” we are already achieving this same temperature increase through global warming.”””

    Reply
  70. It does not sound like they have spent much time in a sandy desert. The reality is that planting a bunch of solar panels will just slow the sand near it causing it it build up until it buries the panels. This not only makes the arrays useless. It makes them a hazard as people and animals will walk on them, break them, and likely cut themselves with the sharp glass hidden in the sand. Sand storms will also etch the glass surfaces making them work very poorly. Wind mills are so tall, that they may not cause the same sand accumulations, or it may just take longer. There is the issue however of getting the poles to stand strait. Sand is not really a very good material to stand a massive poll on. It can be done, by driving hundreds of rods into the sand for each, but would cost a lot. Another possibility is to connect the windmill basses together with horizontal poles. Three such attachments should be able to keep the pole for the windmills vertical. Maintaining these things in the desert would be costly. And as soon as the poor realize there is copper and neodymium in those things they will break in and steal it. Just like the pyramids all looted. Sorry, just does not pass a reality check.

    Reply
  71. It does not sound like they have spent much time in a sandy desert.The reality is that planting a bunch of solar panels will just slow the sand near it causing it it build up until it buries the panels. This not only makes the arrays useless. It makes them a hazard as people and animals will walk on them break them and likely cut themselves with the sharp glass hidden in the sand.Sand storms will also etch the glass surfaces making them work very poorly.Wind mills are so tall that they may not cause the same sand accumulations or it may just take longer. There is the issue however of getting the poles to stand strait. Sand is not really a very good material to stand a massive poll on. It can be done by driving hundreds of rods into the sand for each but would cost a lot. Another possibility is to connect the windmill basses together with horizontal poles. Three such attachments should be able to keep the pole for the windmills vertical. Maintaining these things in the desert would be costly.And as soon as the poor realize there is copper and neodymium in those things they will break in and steal it. Just like the pyramids all looted.Sorry just does not pass a reality check.

    Reply
  72. So…

    APART from agreeing with most of the “you’ve got to be kidding me” comments herein, which variously cite the silliness of paving near-all of the Sahara with solar panels and windmills (perhaps the ultimate Quixotean scheme?) in order to … take your pick … generate a lot of power FAR from where its needed, completely change the continent-wide ecosystem of the Sahara and Saheel, to cause uplift of atmosphere, yielding substantial increase in rain, greening the desert, lining the pockets of millions of UN paid workers and Chinese industrial foundaries…

    Apart from that, and spending no less than a Buck-A-Watt (i.e. 80+ trillion on 80+ trillion watts), and from my “What could go Wrong with That?” department, then you have the Law of Unintended Consequences aspect(s).

    ASPECT 1: Massive de-nourishment of the Amazon.

    Yep… remember the yearly cycle of Saharan dust storms and great windstorms that loft billions of tons of nanoscopic sand-blown dust particles across the entire Atlantic to finally come to rest over the forests of the Amazon? Yah, that’d end. Poor Amazon… destined to eventually lose its primary source of micronutrients.

    ASPECT 2: Same thing, Gulf Stream fertilization cease.

    Well… its not like the billions of tons of dusts are wrapped in bubble-wrap and delivered to the Amazon whole. No, as much as 90% of that dustry load is deposited directly into the Europe-bound Gulf Stream Atlantic current. Reminding y’all that IRON is critically lofted and deposited, and of primary importance in growing hundreds of billions of tons of phytoplankton, driving an entire fishy-cycle … upon which much of the First World depends for its fishy sustenance, well … that’d come crashing to a halt.

    ASPECT 3: WET here → DRY there

    The atmosphere is best viewed as a sponge, really. Moving over the oceans and rainforests and vegetated non-deserts, it tends to pick up moisture and humidity. Then, as most-everyone knows, lift it up (cool it), and it precipitates as cloud-cover. Electrostatic autogenerated potentials cause droplets to form, to consolidate into larger blobs, and then eventually defy gravity and fall to the Earth below as rain. SQUEEZING OUT the sponge.

    So… let’s see… pave the desert with solar panels and whirligigs. Decrease albedo by 3× or more. Heat it up (i thought we were worried about global warming?), cause more uplift, more cloud cover (wait, that’s bad for solar!!!), and then get more rain. Rain encourages more plant growth, perhaps greening the (remaining, little) desert. Goats eat the grass, shît, are culled and everyone’s happy, right?

    NO… because the sponge has been squeezed out.

    Wherever the wind nominally might have gone bearing all that Atlantic and Sub-Saharan moisture is now dry. Someplace else — with the vaguaries of The Climate — would in turn be deprived of their annual rainfall. Not so good. Someone is bound to complain.

    ASPECT 4: Burglary

    Well… you put trillions of dollars of materials assets all

    Reply
  73. Actually… DECREASE albedo. Darker things (like solar panels) have LOWER albedo than sand. Just saying. I’m going to submit a related longer response at the top. GoatGuy

    Reply
  74. Part of the reason the Sahara is a desert, is the air descending, that rose, and dumped it’s moisture in equatorial Africa. If you cause updrafts in what is now the Sahara, that air, as well as the air that once descended there must come down somewhere. As it descends, it’s pressure rises, and as PV=nRT demands, it’s temperature rises, lowering it’s relative humidity. This effect is the cause of most of the deserts in the world, either caused by the equatorial updrafts, or passing over mountain ranges. The other main cause of deserts is cold ocean currents offshore, where the prevailing winds are onshore. We have conservation of mass, so the air that rises, must come down somewhere. My point is this scheme runs the risk of just moving desert, rather than eliminating it.

    Reply
  75. Part of the reason the Sahara is a desert is the air descending that rose and dumped it’s moisture in equatorial Africa. If you cause updrafts in what is now the Sahara that air as well as the air that once descended there must come down somewhere. As it descends it’s pressure rises and as PV=nRT demands it’s temperature rises lowering it’s relative humidity. This effect is the cause of most of the deserts in the world either caused by the equatorial updrafts or passing over mountain ranges. The other main cause of deserts is cold ocean currents offshore where the prevailing winds are onshore.We have conservation of mass so the air that rises must come down somewhere. My point is this scheme runs the risk of just moving desert rather than eliminating it.

    Reply
  76. I blame Goats. They don’t eat, they eradicate.

    Lake Chad was an inland sea greater than the 3 lakes of Canada only a couple of thousands of years ago (prior to 3000BCE).
    In 2000 BC Farao’ wrote about going into Libya and catching hundreds of thousands of pieces of cattle and rock carvings of elephant and crocodiles are found everywhere in the Sahara. Herodotes corroborates that the Sahara was the region where the troglodytae (cavemen) lived and agriculture was performed close to Tibesti where we now have deserts.

    There is a Transaqua project concept that wants to connect the Congo Basin with lake Chad (Lake Chad Basin International Commission/ La Rouche foundation / Lake Chad replenishment project). Diverting five percent of the Congo stream is enough to fill the lake and regreen the entire area.

    The nations in the region and even Congo are not opposed to the idea.

    However, because there is concern power generation of the Inga Dams and navigation on the Congo River ‘might’ suffer, the project is stalled (but not entirely abandoned). Environmental studies to understand the impact of a canal are desired. Regional instability slows the discussions.
    Besides that, the Saharan Mountain regions have a lot of potential in re-greening the Sahara using dams.

    Plantation of hardy species by aerial drones is also a not entirely outlandish possibility. In Canada drone planting is already successfully pursued by a start up. Besides that MIT is playing with metal-organic frameworks (MOF’s) that can harvest water from the air on a daily basis. The are already working on a cheap aluminium alternative. They work in the desert and produce enough water for the daily needs of humans (and therefore their plants). More of the compound, more water. Yes, conditions are different but proof of concept is what lacks.

    All these ideas can be combined with what is mentioned in the article above.

    Reply
  77. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada), which presents challenges for the political, social, and economic systems that all of the 10 countries that would be involved have in place. ” You mean the entire planet. It’d be a challenge for the entire planet.

    Reply
  78. The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada) which presents challenges for the political social” and economic systems that all of the 10 countries that would be involved have in place. “”You mean the entire planet. It’d be a challenge for the entire planet.”””

    Reply
  79. LOL, “solar is good so let’s cover one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in PV”.
    – who is “we” that will do the said covering? A global cabal of PV and wind fanatics to force 11 sovereign (and highly unstable) countries to do something?
    – who will pay for it?

    This is a typical ill-thought out laboratory “what-if” that has no relationship to reality. they didn’t even bother to look at a map and understand the topography (hint: the “Sahara” isn’t all flat sand dunes) or climate. All they did was find an empty place. They could have just as well said “let’s cover Australia with PV and windmills and see what happens”.

    It’s really moronic studies like this that chips away at any serious discussions about the climate and what are the best options to deal with increased temperatures. The AGW fanatics really look more and more like buffoons.

    Reply
  80. Yawn. It would probably be cheaper to increase global temperatures to increase precipitation (seems to happen on its own anyway) and diverting ocean currents.

    Reply
  81. Yawn. It would probably be cheaper to increase global temperatures to increase precipitation (seems to happen on its own anyway) and diverting ocean currents.

    Reply
  82. Even after this supposed improvement this is still projected to be semiarid region… that’s better than a harsh desert but it’s not like this area will be all that good for agriculture.

    Reply
  83. Even after this supposed improvement this is still projected to be semiarid region… that’s better than a harsh desert but it’s not like this area will be all that good for agriculture.

    Reply
  84. Your statement about dry air coming down somewhere makes no sense. If the updrafts are indeed drawing moisture into the area then they will be introducing a net gain in humidity in the atmosphere in the effected regions.

    Reply
  85. Your statement about dry air coming down somewhere makes no sense. If the updrafts are indeed drawing moisture into the area then they will be introducing a net gain in humidity in the atmosphere in the effected regions.

    Reply
  86. thus mitigate anthropogenic climate change” This global warming scam is the best since the Catholic Church sold indulgences. I am in the wrong biz.

    Reply
  87. thus mitigate anthropogenic climate change””This global warming scam is the best since the Catholic Church sold indulgences. I am in the wrong biz.”””

    Reply
  88. Is the proposed mechanism, that the lower albedo panels, and the slower wind speeds will result in higher near surface air temperatures, that will produce a year long monsoon type weather pattern, as the result of a Canada sized updraft? That air will come down somewhere, drying that area out, unless it’s the Mediterranean, or some other ocean linked body of water. BTW: That’s why there are equatorial jungles all the way around the planet, unless it’s oceans, or mountains, with arid belts on either side. The higher incidence of sunlight near the equator causes a near year round updraft, which lifts water vapor high enough to precipitate. The air descends, warms, and becomes very dry, in the arid bands. The project might just end up moving around the aridity.

    Reply
  89. Is the proposed mechanism that the lower albedo panels and the slower wind speeds will result in higher near surface air temperatures that will produce a year long monsoon type weather pattern as the result of a Canada sized updraft?That air will come down somewhere drying that area out unless it’s the Mediterranean or some other ocean linked body of water. BTW: That’s why there are equatorial jungles all the way around the planet unless it’s oceans or mountains with arid belts on either side. The higher incidence of sunlight near the equator causes a near year round updraft which lifts water vapor high enough to precipitate. The air descends warms and becomes very dry in the arid bands. The project might just end up moving around the aridity.

    Reply
  90. Or, you can set up big tidally-filled solar stills along Western Sahara, and pipe it directly into irritation, greening up that coastline and increasing rain, and setting up progressively bigger and bigger ones to keep moving solar-desalinated water inwards as politics allows. But sure, let’s short-term-increase Saharan temps by 2C, that’s totally a good idea.

    Reply
  91. Or you can set up big tidally-filled solar stills along Western Sahara and pipe it directly into irritation greening up that coastline and increasing rain and setting up progressively bigger and bigger ones to keep moving solar-desalinated water inwards as politics allows.But sure let’s short-term-increase Saharan temps by 2C that’s totally a good idea.

    Reply
  92. I think there was some talk about moving some antarctic ice inland. Some link between the Antarctic spur and the tip of South America might allow the ice to be harvested

    Reply
  93. I think there was some talk about moving some antarctic ice inland. Some link between the Antarctic spur and the tip of South America might allow the ice to be harvested

    Reply
  94. And a solar/wind farm the size of Canada would employ a million people and empower millions more…. Do it – I’ll kick-in $150. Put my name on a panel. If windmills and solar installations will increase surface friction and increase albedo respectively, then the poor man’s version would simply be steel car ports with white roofs making shade.

    Reply
  95. And a solar/wind farm the size of Canada would employ a million people and empower millions more…. Do it – I’ll kick-in $150. Put my name on a panel.If windmills and solar installations will increase surface friction and increase albedo respectively then the poor man’s version would simply be steel car ports with white roofs making shade.

    Reply
  96. This is also another not very oft cited secondary effect of AGW: an increase in temperature would result in increased evaporation and thus, more clouds and rain. Clouds can cancel some of the heating on their own, and more rain is bad because… floods? Yeah, I get it that such precipitation won’t happen evenly across the globe, but probably concentrated in some areas where it already rains a lot, while other parts see nothing or very little of it. What’s probably more important is the global greening due to more CO2 to feed the plants. Vegetation biomass is very good at engineering more precipitation over its local region.

    Reply
  97. This is also another not very oft cited secondary effect of AGW: an increase in temperature would result in increased evaporation and thus more clouds and rain.Clouds can cancel some of the heating on their own and more rain is bad because… floods?Yeah I get it that such precipitation won’t happen evenly across the globe but probably concentrated in some areas where it already rains a lot while other parts see nothing or very little of it.What’s probably more important is the global greening due to more CO2 to feed the plants. Vegetation biomass is very good at engineering more precipitation over its local region.

    Reply
  98. “The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada)”.
    And this just to *increase* local; temperature by 1-2 C, and possibly make the region *a bit* less arid.
    And (as a later related post mentions) at the expense of $82 trillion.
    Totally ridiculous idea, a (bad) high school project.

    Why would any developed country, and any large energy company, invest in solar and wind in politically, socially and economically unstable regions, when you can make similar investments in, say, the southern US, Australia, southern Europe (e.g. interior southern and central Spain), China, …

    Any (ANY) other idea with regard to global projects, energy and environment, would be better.
    This whole ‘Sahara solar/greening’ idea pops up occasionally, because it speaks to people’s imagination.

    BTW, we are already achieving this same temperature increase through global warming.

    Reply
  99. It does not sound like they have spent much time in a sandy desert.

    The reality is that planting a bunch of solar panels will just slow the sand near it causing it it build up until it buries the panels. This not only makes the arrays useless. It makes them a hazard as people and animals will walk on them, break them, and likely cut themselves with the sharp glass hidden in the sand.

    Sand storms will also etch the glass surfaces making them work very poorly.

    Wind mills are so tall, that they may not cause the same sand accumulations, or it may just take longer. There is the issue however of getting the poles to stand strait. Sand is not really a very good material to stand a massive poll on. It can be done, by driving hundreds of rods into the sand for each, but would cost a lot.

    Another possibility is to connect the windmill basses together with horizontal poles. Three such attachments should be able to keep the pole for the windmills vertical.

    Maintaining these things in the desert would be costly.

    And as soon as the poor realize there is copper and neodymium in those things they will break in and steal it. Just like the pyramids all looted.

    Sorry, just does not pass a reality check.

    Reply
  100. Part of the reason the Sahara is a desert, is the air descending, that rose, and dumped it’s moisture in equatorial Africa. If you cause updrafts in what is now the Sahara, that air, as well as the air that once descended there must come down somewhere. As it descends, it’s pressure rises, and as PV=nRT demands, it’s temperature rises, lowering it’s relative humidity. This effect is the cause of most of the deserts in the world, either caused by the equatorial updrafts, or passing over mountain ranges. The other main cause of deserts is cold ocean currents offshore, where the prevailing winds are onshore.
    We have conservation of mass, so the air that rises, must come down somewhere. My point is this scheme runs the risk of just moving desert, rather than eliminating it.

    Reply
  101. “The system would need 9 million square kilometers (this is the area of Canada), which presents challenges for the political, social, and economic systems that all of the 10 countries that would be involved have in place. ”
    You mean the entire planet. It’d be a challenge for the entire planet.

    Reply
  102. Yawn. It would probably be cheaper to increase global temperatures to increase precipitation (seems to happen on its own anyway) and diverting ocean currents.

    Reply
  103. Even after this supposed improvement this is still projected to be semiarid region… that’s better than a harsh desert but it’s not like this area will be all that good for agriculture.

    Reply
  104. Your statement about dry air coming down somewhere makes no sense. If the updrafts are indeed drawing moisture into the area then they will be introducing a net gain in humidity in the atmosphere in the effected regions.

    Reply
  105. Is the proposed mechanism, that the lower albedo panels, and the slower wind speeds will result in higher near surface air temperatures, that will produce a year long monsoon type weather pattern, as the result of a Canada sized updraft?
    That air will come down somewhere, drying that area out, unless it’s the Mediterranean, or some other ocean linked body of water.

    BTW: That’s why there are equatorial jungles all the way around the planet, unless it’s oceans, or mountains, with arid belts on either side. The higher incidence of sunlight near the equator causes a near year round updraft, which lifts water vapor high enough to precipitate. The air descends, warms, and becomes very dry, in the arid bands. The project might just end up moving around the aridity.

    Reply
  106. Or, you can set up big tidally-filled solar stills along Western Sahara, and pipe it directly into irritation, greening up that coastline and increasing rain, and setting up progressively bigger and bigger ones to keep moving solar-desalinated water inwards as politics allows.

    But sure, let’s short-term-increase Saharan temps by 2C, that’s totally a good idea.

    Reply
  107. And a solar/wind farm the size of Canada would employ a million people and empower millions more….

    Do it – I’ll kick-in $150. Put my name on a panel.

    If windmills and solar installations will increase surface friction and increase albedo respectively, then the poor man’s version would simply be steel car ports with white roofs making shade.

    Reply
  108. This is also another not very oft cited secondary effect of AGW: an increase in temperature would result in increased evaporation and thus, more clouds and rain.

    Clouds can cancel some of the heating on their own, and more rain is bad because… floods?

    Yeah, I get it that such precipitation won’t happen evenly across the globe, but probably concentrated in some areas where it already rains a lot, while other parts see nothing or very little of it.

    What’s probably more important is the global greening due to more CO2 to feed the plants. Vegetation biomass is very good at engineering more precipitation over its local region.

    Reply

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