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Making it rain in the Sahara Desert

The Sahara has long been subject to periodic bouts of humidity and aridity; fluctuations caused by slight wobbles in the tilt of the Earth’s orbital axis, which in turn changed the angle at which solar radiation penetrated the atmosphere. The now-dessicated northern strip of Africa was once green and alive, pocked with lakes, rivers, grasslands and even forests.

Between 8,000 and 4,500 years ago, a transition from humid to dry happened far more rapidly in some areas than could be explained by the orbital precession alone, creating the Sahara Desert as we know it. Perhaps, climate pushed people to herd cattle, or the overgrazing practices accelerated denudation of foliage.

Until scientists drill down into the dried-up lake beds that are scattered around the Sahara and look at the pollen and seed data, then match that to the archaeological datasets, it is a chicken and egg senerio.

The world’s largest, hot desert — The Sahara — with its scant population, strong winds and unobstructed exposure to the sun — is the idyllic landscape for generating renewable energy. Global warming, the result of burning fossil fules, can be escaped with wind and solar power which has become extremely cheap. The Sahara is the perfect place to capitalize on the wind with solar electrical generation, resulting in more rainfall and vegetation, changing the face of the windswept land – turning it green.

The turbines mix warmer air from above and take as much momentum out of the atmosphere as possible. This makes it easier for wind to move from high pressure to low pressure areas. PLUS, wind turbines would pull warmer air down to the surface while the solar panels help to reduce surface reflectiveness, causing an increase in rainfall and turning the arid landscape into a global mean, green, renewable machine.

The vast, hot, barren expanse where few live and not much grows, has huge potential  – offering enough blazing sunlight and persistent wind to power the entire planet.  

 

 

 

 

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