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Author Topic: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change  (Read 9064 times)

Donald

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How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:49:49 PM »
The title of this TED talk is maybe a little ambitious, but I watched it last night and concluded that there is something there.  The short summary is that much of what we call desert can be restored to grasslands through grazing livestock in a manner that imitates the movement of herds of wild grazing animals.  The result is to capture CO2 as well as restore the land.  As we enter into an era in which we need to try everything, this is one more technique to add to our arsenal.

Please pass it on to your acquaintances if you agree.   22 minute video at 



« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 02:55:20 PM by Donald »

Jim Hunt

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 01:27:23 PM »
For other research in a vaguely similar vein see also the Cabot Institute's work on what they call "Bio-geo-engineering".  By way of example here's a paper from Prof. Andy Ridgewell et. al. on the topic:

"Tackling Regional Climate Change By Leaf Albedo Bio-geoengineering"
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 04:07:59 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Laurent

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 03:20:44 PM »
I disagree partially !
It is the trees that will help the desert regrow

You can see also Inga foundation

http://www.ingafoundation.org/

The last one, sorry it is in French


I agree because in a desert environment you have to start by herding but the rotation is very difficult to manage. The animals may destroy the soil by walking on it ! In some places the trees may not have enough water available in the soil and only herbs can grow and die fast. Nothing new under the sun though because some civilization in the Sahara do that already !

Laurent

jonthed

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 09:57:19 AM »
I was amazed by this TED talk. If this works, and seeing as how they already have demonstrated it working I don;t think we need to ask that, it will be almost our best hope for carbon sequestration, not to mention the fact that it will be increasing foliage, restoring habitats, and helping provide food and water for millions of people. It helps nature, people, and the climate. And all that's required is livestock and knowledge. It really is a magic bullet. I hope that everybody gets behind this effort, the public, the governments, the environmental groups, and even the energy companies. Everyone can support this effort to feed people, restore nature to health, and sequester carbon.

Win-win-win.

Except maybe vegetarians.

icebgone

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 04:20:39 AM »
Good news for relatively unpopulated wilderness areas and former abused grazing lands.  However, once man has poisoned the land with chemicals, leachate, garbage etc. remediation is much more difficult.  I found that preplanning for seasonality is necessary for growing and maintaining usable land, much as this video makes clear.  Guesswork = failure.  Observations are critical.  Timing is everything!  Prioritizing what is going to happen each and every day requires consistent attention to detail.  He did not mention how they would handle natural fire or droughts.  Questions to follow up on.

frankendoodle

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 09:52:45 PM »
His explanation would explain the shrinking and in some states disappearance of savannas in North America since the near extinction of the great plains bison herds. Flora is so very dependent on microorganisms to break down compounds into base elements, so I can see why grasslands have a symbiotic relationship with mega fauna such as bovines and other large herbivores. I can also see & have seen how conventional ranching would have the opposite effect. When I lived in KY as a child my house was bordered by a dairy farm who's cattle were free range & ate grass. It was about as bucolic as it gets. When we moved to TX, I saw beef cattle ranches that were high density and corn feed. They were ugly as shit! 

Jim Hunt

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 04:16:08 PM »
I've just discovered I'll be seeing Allan Savory live tomorrow afternoon, at TEDx Exeter!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 10:12:45 PM »
Having just got back, I was disappointed to discover that Allan wasn't there in person, just a familiar video of him.

However, now I want to become a Pirate!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Neven

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2013, 06:47:50 PM »
Geoff Lawton is putting videos online for anyone who subscribes.
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 10:30:58 AM »
The carbon footprint of cattle (and other ruminants) is enormous. See Nobeef.org.uk http://www.nobeef.org.uk/.

This includes Beef’s footprint 25 times its own weight.http://www.nobeef.co.uk/wordpress/?p=31] [url]http://www.nobeef.co.uk/wordpress/?p=31[/url]
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 10:59:10 AM »
Geoff Lawton's (and Sepp Holzer's) approach seems exciting and I do tell people about permaculture but is there any independent verification?

I can't see any peer reviewed publications happening: it's not the sort of thing that gets research funding. I have questioned the professors of GM farming that do research on feeding the world with patented offerings. They seem to know nothing about it. See Food: Scientists vs amateurs http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/food-whos-right-scientists-or-amateurs/

One approach that I came across for greening the desert was to "to move the thermal barrier, which currently prevents clouds and fog from moving onto land from the ocean, inland." See Operation Oaisis http://operationoasis.com/index.php. Frankly I think they sound barmy but could their scheme work? On their home page it says:
Quote
Our aims: To bring rain back to deserts, so the world can grow enough trees and crops to stabilise the climate and provide desperately-needed food, fuel, renewable materials and employment. Achieved by restoring forests on arid coastlines to move the thermal barrier, which currently prevents clouds and fog from moving onto land from the ocean, inland. The return ballast capacity of super tankers will be used to transport billions of tonnes of treated waste water, instead of sea water, for irrigation on return voyages.

I saw their presentation at an APPCCG meeting at the UK Parliament. At the I came away believing in the thermal barrier effect.

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johnm33

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2014, 11:14:09 AM »
 I've often wondered if the western Sahara [Spanish Sahara] could be 'greened' with small towns cooled by seawater designed specifically for agricultural production. Water pumped by solar and wind inland, and there used for high value crops. Europe being only 2 days away by ship. It certainly looks possible. http://saharaforestproject.com/concept.html    The following  type of tech could be used to increase humidity, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2309-floating-wind-turbine-could-whip-up-rain.html#.Ut5EsfvLdkg  and these to harvest.
http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/03/07/the-fog-collectors-harvesting-water-from-thin-air/
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/airdrop-design-pulls-water-air-to-irrigate-deserts.html
 

JimD

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2014, 05:22:34 PM »
johnm33

Without a doubt reforestation in a wide range of areas would be a smart thing to do if we could find a way to manage it.  And I don't in any way oppose someone trying to do this.  But the scale  of our problem of deforestation is so large in comparison to projects like this and the infrastructure which would be required to build many of them that I wonder about the impactful value possible.  Does it make sense?  Note that the western Sahara is projected to get much less suitable for human habitation than it is now.

I have spent time in the western and central Sahara and a little time in the eastern Sahara.  To say that a lot of this land is bleak is a huge understatement.  I have traveled in some places for a 100 miles and seen no vegetation of any kind.  Water sources are very scarce.  I have seen 131 F in the central Sahara...in the shade.  And then there are the drought/temperature projections for later in this century.  They are truly dire.  Deserts are expected to grow.  See this link.

http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/10/terrifying-drought-projections.html

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johnm33

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Re: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 08:17:30 PM »
JimD Your right of course it is pretty hopeless, but some of the tech exists, http://www.makai.com/swac-seawater-air-conditioning/    so a resort come agricultural project might work as a pilot scheme.