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Originally posted by getreadyalready
I believe the global community would be against this. It would surely have unforeseen implications in world weather patterns, and economic impact as new farmland became possible, starvation dwindled, and wars tapered off in Africa. I don't think our developed countries want to see that!
Israel is a country on the very edge of the desert. 60% of the country's land is desert, but from the early 20th century, before anyone alse, one the Zionist movement's most important goals was to "make the desert bloom". Planting trees, growing agriculture in the desert, moving water to dry areas, building desert settlements, all of these were used to a great extent. Today, Israel's Negev desert is retreating, with more and more of its land becoming fields and forests. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a retreating desert, and is one of the world's leading nations when it comes to anti-desertification
Three decades ago, a drive along the main road from Cairo to Alexandria was a sleepy trip through the desert, with nothing to see but a blank sandy expanse. But today that road is lined with prosperous farms, neon-colored citrus fields, and farmers toiling in the suddenly fertile stretch of earth known as Tahrir Province.
This changing vista is just one example of Egypt's ambitious plan to cultivate the deserts that consume most of its landscape, a government policy that has been on the books for decades but which is only now achieving large-scale success.
More rain makes for more plant growth: that much is obvious. But now a statistical study of satellite images has added weight to the reverse notion: more plants also make for more rain. The result adds to the impetus to preserve green spaces in dry regions, in order to help prevent deserts from growing and encroaching on agricultural land. Greenery can have a number of effects on a local climate. Plants are thought to transfer moisture from the soil into the air by evaporation from their leaves, and hold water in the soil close to the surface, where it can also evaporate. What is more, the darker surfaces of plants compared to sandy deserts also absorb more solar radiation, which, along with their rough texture, can create convection and turbulence in the atmosphere. This might create more or less rainfall.
The latitudinal explanation, however, is only partial. Around the mid-latitudinal belt, only the western side of continents is normally occupied by deserts, while the eastern side is covered by forests. The reason for this has to do with the global circulation of ocean currents: gravitation from the sun and the moon pulls air and water on the earth's surface and tends to make them lag behind, relative to the earth's rotational movement. The gravitational drag is greatest in the equator, where the centrifugal speed of the earth is fastest. Thus, as the earth turns, ocean currents and winds flow in the equator from east to west, tugged by universal gravitation, forming the equatorial currents and the easterly trade winds. As the westbound surface waters move away from the continents, they pull cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface that generate a cool, stable coastal atmosphere, with little evaporation from the sea and very low rainfall other than morning fogs
The Sahara Forest Project combines two proven technologies in a new way to create multiple benefits: producing large amounts of renewable energy, food and water as well as reversing desertification. A major element of the proposal is the Seawater Greenhouse - a brilliant invention that creates a cool growing environment in hot parts of the world and is a net producer of distilled water from seawater
Originally posted by Desert Dawg
I like the idea, but wonder how you'll generate the power to run the distillazation plants?