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Flooding the desert


Flooding the desert13-07-2017 14:57
wisewilly
☆☆☆☆☆
(4)
Hello folks,
I found this forum while searching for a place where I could
share an idea I had.
I would like experts to tell me whether this makes sense or if I'm
missing something:
In my opinion higher temperatures around the world is not a catastrophe but a chance to collect more energy from the sun instead of reflecting it into space.

Plants grow much faster if exposed to higher co2 levels and temperatures, while beeing watered enough (that's how greenhouses work).

One of my theories is that dinosaurs could only survive with the size they had, because the world was a tropical paradise with very high co2 levels so that plants could grow fast enough to feed these giant creatures. This co2 went underground through time and was stored as oil and coal. Which is why I think it's a good thing to get it out and burn it.

I think the biggest problem is, that we have places that are way to dry.
This issue could be solved through melting the ice around the world to get more water that will then evaporate and become clouds that could green our deserts.

But for now (and this is what I like you to tell me if it would work)
we could flood the deserts with sea water.
I know this would contaminate the flooded areas with salt where nothing could grow, if it ever runs dry again.
That's why I think we should flood salt deserts.
One examples is ethiopia "Dakati".
There's a large salt desert, below the sea level which is (in some areas) only protected by 25 meters of hills from beeing flooded with sea water. Once the desert is flooded, the water should evaporate fast and becom clouds which could then rain down over africa and fill up the nile or directly rain down over dry areas which could then be tturned into farmland and used by the african population. This could help prevent more climate refugees to move towards europe and help to feed africa. As far as I know there are projects to green the desert, but they need time (planting trees etc.) or they are too expensive for regular people (I saw greenhouses that used salt water to grow crop which was used in Katar I think)- so this would be a good solution for everyone (except maybe ethiopia
) don't worry, Death Valley is not on my list (yet)
-
What do you think?
Edited on 13-07-2017 15:05
13-07-2017 18:28
Into the Night
★★★★★
(3814)
For most deserts, this has already happened. Many deserts were underwater before they became deserts. Sometimes that water was seawater. The U.S. Western desert was once covered by a massive lake known as Lake Bonneville. This dried up, concentrating the salts in it to many times greater than seawater. The result today is Salt Lake and the salt flats around it. Many deserts have salt pans in them. This is the same kind of thing happening.
13-07-2017 19:28
wisewilly
☆☆☆☆☆
(4)
That's right. But why don't we restore it then?
Other than tourism (or maybe rocket car testing) there's no use for these places.
AFAIK Death valley is one of the hottest places on earth and it's below
sea level.
Once it's flooded the water should evaporate quickly and turn into clouds.
Nevada or California would never have to worry about water again.
Flooding it would be expensive at first but much cheaper in the long run
and tourist would probably love an hot ocean in the middle of the desert near
Las Vegas. Property prices would probably skyrocket
13-07-2017 20:44
Into the Night
★★★★★
(3814)
wisewilly wrote:
That's right. But why don't we restore it then?

Why do you want to?
wisewilly wrote:
Other than tourism (or maybe rocket car testing) there's no use for these places.

There isn't? Is that why more and more people are MOVING TO THE DESERT?
wisewilly wrote:
AFAIK Death valley is one of the hottest places on earth and it's below
sea level.

It's also a national lpark.
wisewilly wrote:
Once it's flooded the water should evaporate quickly and turn into clouds.

Did you know Death Valley floods naturally from time to time?
wisewilly wrote:
Nevada or California would never have to worry about water again.

Yes they would. The water evaporates.

California's problems with water have more to do with waste then lack of water.
wisewilly wrote:
Flooding it would be expensive at first but much cheaper in the long run
and tourist would probably love an hot ocean in the middle of the desert near
Las Vegas. Property prices would probably skyrocket


Did you know southern California experienced devastating floods until Hoover dam was built? Now the Colorado River is controlled. The Salton Sea was one result of Colorado River flooding. It STILL hasn't evaporated away!


The Parrot Killer
13-07-2017 22:44
Tim the plumber
★★★☆☆
(909)
The thing about the size of the world's oceans is that they are very very big.

If you flooded all the low lying land in the world you would not significanty lower sea level. Less than 10mm.

The other thing is that a lot of ice would have to melt to raise it. More than it is possible to melt in fact....
14-07-2017 04:07
still learning
★☆☆☆☆
(146)
wisewilly wrote:

....I would like experts...

...In my opinion higher temperatures .....but a chance to collect more energy from the sun.....

.....That's why I think we should flood salt deserts.
One examples is ethiopia "Dakati"......

....What do you think?



For expert opinions about your ideas you'll have to try someplace else.

I don't understand the connection between higher temperatures and the "chance to collect more energy." How so?

Regarding flooding salt deserts, I'm pretty sure it won't have much of the effect you describe.
You mentioned the Danakil desert in Ethiopia. If a sizable nearby body of water produced much rainfall, the relatively close Red Sea should do the job. If your notion were right, the nearby Atlantic would cause rain in the Skeleton Coast/Namib desert. The Pacific would green the Atacama. And so on.

That Danakil looks pretty desolate, on Google Earth anyway. Not only hot, but active volcanism in the area. Interesting Google photos of the lava lake at Erta Ale.
14-07-2017 11:18
wisewilly
☆☆☆☆☆
(4)
That's some interesting input "Into the night"
I think people are moving to deserts because of the loneliness.
It was more of an example to demonstrate my theory,
I can imagine things better if I know the places someones talking about.
Don't have to worry about a james bond villain trying to flood california.

I don't understand the connection between higher temperatures and the "chance to collect more energy." How so?


In colder climates people use gas or oil to keep their houses warm. This energy could be saved.
Plants grow much faster in higher temperature (if the other parameters are right)
more sunlight could be collected by the plants and turned into food or biofuel.
This is basic chemistry: van-'t-Hoff'sche rule - if themperature is raised by 10K the reaction speed doubles or triples.

Solar panels would be another option to use the increased sunlight, the current produced could be turned into Hydrogen (with electrolysis) which could then be transported through pipelines and trucks.

If your notion were right, the nearby Atlantic would cause rain in the Skeleton Coast/Namib desert. The Pacific would green the Atacama. And so on.


This was one of the things I kept asking mysel. I think it has to do with the low water temperature and wind that is blowing the clouds away.
Water temperature on the coast of Namibia is very low due to some cold stream:
http://www.seos-project.eu/modules/oceancurrents/images/c01_20080203_ostia_sst.jpg
With other desert it's the wind thing I guess. I blows the clouds away.
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/educate/windspeed_ans.shtml
This wouldn't be the case if the evaporation area was surrounded by land.
In ethipia the vapour will probably go to the mountains and fill the nile.
The increased water levels of the nile could then be used to green the desert.

Slowly flooding the danakil would evaporate way more, due to the hot ground and the flatness of the new lake.
This process is already happening naturally because of volcano activity.
In my opinion it would be wiser to flood it controlled, than to wait for an earthquake that causes a sudden flood
which could kill people.
Another advantage for ethiopia is that they would have their own "salt lake" where they could control which ships
are allowed to fish in. AFAIK their population suffers because all the fish around africa is catched by big international ships.
I mean poor countries like ethipia won't invest in expensive ideas like this:
http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/122/cache/green-sahara-complex_12210_600x450.jpg

Maybe foreign nations would, but only in their own interest, to water their farms or to sell the water
( "bottled life")
14-07-2017 11:51
still learning
★☆☆☆☆
(146)
wisewilly wrote:

......Solar panels would be another option to use the increased sunlight.......


Increased sunlight?
14-07-2017 13:06
wisewilly
☆☆☆☆☆
(4)
There are solar panels that can use IR (not fully developed yet).
But you're right on that one, sunlight doesn't increase

Will probably even decreased due to more clouds forming.
Other than that heat can be turned to stem which can then be turned to electricity (Concentrated solar power)

What I was trying to say is: The sun (other than earth core heat and nuclear power) is basically our only energy source.
Wind,fossil fuels,Solar power, Hydropower- All of that is basically from the sun.
So why are we thinking of reflecting it into space instead of thinking about using more of it for our uses.
I understand that in short term development increasing sea levels will evict everyone that lives at a coast,
but if we know about that we could forbid building houses at the coast and promote building them further away from there. I know moving New York sounds pretty far fetched
14-07-2017 16:49
Tim the plumber
★★★☆☆
(909)
In order to get a 1mm sea level rise you need 360 cubic kilometers of ice, 360 Gigatonnes, to melt.

In order to get a 1mm drop in sea leve by flooding somewhere you need the same amount of water taken out of the oceans.

So, if the area you are talking about is 25m below sea level you need 40x360 = 14,400 square kilometers of it to get a 1mm sea level drop. That is if it is all that low.
14-07-2017 18:15
GasGuzzler
★★★☆☆
(720)
This idea was so far out there I wasn't even going to comment, but this magical evaporation turning to clouds and rain just bugs me.
I live 1,000 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico. It is our primary moisture source, which provides around 50 inches of precip per year. How is it that simply putting water nearby will make it rain? You know it doesn't just rain because it evaporates to a certain level right?
In contrast, the Desert Southwest is how close to the ocean? And how much rain do they get? A quick look at Phoenix is 8 inches.
14-07-2017 19:10
Into the Night
★★★★★
(3814)
wisewilly wrote:
That's some interesting input "Into the night"
I think people are moving to deserts because of the loneliness.

Phoenix and Las Vegas are far from lonely!

People move to the desert because it's sunny and warm. They're tired of living through long dark winters up north.

wisewilly wrote:
It was more of an example to demonstrate my theory,
I can imagine things better if I know the places someones talking about.
Don't have to worry about a james bond villain trying to flood california.

Flooding all the deserts would result in destructive floods and...desert.

I think you need to study what the jet streams are and how they create deserts.
BTW, do you know where the driest desert is in the world? Antarctica!

wisewilly wrote:
I don't understand the connection between higher temperatures and the "chance to collect more energy." How so?


In colder climates people use gas or oil to keep their houses warm. This energy could be saved.


It takes energy to flood a desert. A LOT of it. I don't think your investment is going to be worth it.

Better to let natural weather systems flood deserts (which happen from time to time).


The Parrot Killer
14-07-2017 19:11
Into the Night
★★★★★
(3814)
still learning wrote:
wisewilly wrote:

......Solar panels would be another option to use the increased sunlight.......


Increased sunlight?


Floating solar panels?


The Parrot Killer




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