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Massive Saharan Solar & Wind Farms Could Increase Rainfall
Massive wind and solar energy installations in the Sahara and nearby Sahel deserts would increase local temperatures, rainfall and vegetation - all benefits for the region, according to a climate-modeling study published Thursday in the journal Science [SUBSCRIPTION WAIVED].
We primarily focused on the effect of such large wind and solar farms in the Sahara region (including the most arid parts of the Arabian Desert) and the neighboring Sahel region for several reasons: (i) The Sahara is the largest desert in the world and has a great supply of solar and wind energy. (ii) The Sahara is sparsely inhabited, and thus the development of wind and solar farms would have minimal competition for land surface area against natural and other human land uses, such as agriculture (15). (iii) The Sahel is a transition region between desert and wooded savanna and, as such, is highly sensitive to land changes (18, 19, 23). (iv) Both regions are near Europe and the Middle East, areas with enormous current energy demand, and sub-Saharan Africa, which has a large projected growth in energy demand (see supplementary text). (v) Massive investment in solar and wind generation could promote economic development in the Sahel, one of the poorest regions in the world, as well as provide clean energy for desalination and provision of water for cities and food production (24). The wind and solar farms simulated in this study would generate approximately 3 and 79 TW of electrical power, respectively, averaged over a typical year (see supplementary text).
Desertec. Best idea since jesus on a stick with wheels.

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desertec

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Sep 7th, 2018 at 03:24:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if they used the heat of the sun to melt sand to make glass stilts, then the solar farms cold be raised above the surface to grow crops underneath that would not suffer from excessive soil moisture depletion from evaporation.

Also, use excess power to pump desalinated seawater inland. tbh, this couldbe rolled out across any desert area near to the sea.

If you grew coppiced trees underneath and then sink the wood into the sea below 100m or so, he wood will continue to sink and place the captured carbon beyond return to the atmosphere. I dunno, do this to Australia, Sahara and Arabian deserts and you might manage to keep atmospheric CO2 down while we work out how to get polticians who give a shit

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 7th, 2018 at 06:50:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What soil?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 7th, 2018 at 09:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sand goes to soil fairly quickly once organic processes restart.

I've seen some very interesting youtubes about desert reclamations using quite small amounts of water but delivered consistently. the soil creation is very rapid, 3 - 6 years from bare sand.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 9th, 2018 at 07:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was unaware that sand (pulverized, eroded rock) goes to "soil". "Dust" (desiccated soil) may go to soil. But my understanding is, the mineral properties of sand and of soil differ, so therefore the arability of the media.

The Sahara desert, unlike the Gobi for example and purportedly the optimal site of Desertec equipment, is 80:20, sand:soil, unevenly distributed. The  maximum depths of its dunes and packed strata are, basically, unknown.

I found a youtube doc about Libyan (Gadaffi's) investment in reclamation that offers a succinct explanation of the financial and technical hurdles to agricultural success --without even the added expenses of solar and wind siting and maintenance.

Astro turf appears the least cost option.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 10th, 2018 at 08:24:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
soil types (including sand), general reference
what ia organic and mineral properties
structure physical properties
::
Libyan Sahara Water from the Desert - The Secrets of Nature, 00:43:58
50 ha plot reclamation, 2014
"You had to add different kinds of minerals."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 12th, 2018 at 12:51:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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