Flood the Sahara

Jul 2016
7,771
USA
#12
But, but, but if we flood the Sahara then the sandworms won't have anywhere to live and we won't have anywhere to mine the spice...
Flood the Sahara with a 300 meter wide canal completely across Africa, coast to coast. Farm plankton and bait one side of it. Conduct seasonal whale drives, pushing them through the canal. Tell the locals any whale they want, they can hunt them for meat. Only stipulation is they are only armed with traditional African hand weapons. Post cameras every 200 meters to record 24/7. Record hunting for western television, with proceeds used to buy HIV medications.

Solve hunger, curb spread of AIDS, entertain people like me bored with conventional television shows. Nobody loses. Except whales, but meh, no great loss.
 
Likes: specul8

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#13
Flood the Sahara with a 300 meter wide canal completely across Africa, coast to coast. Farm plankton and bait one side of it. Conduct seasonal whale drives, pushing them through the canal. Tell the locals any whale they want, they can hunt them for meat. Only stipulation is they are only armed with traditional African hand weapons. Post cameras every 200 meters to record 24/7. Record hunting for western television, with proceeds used to buy HIV medications.

Solve hunger, curb spread of AIDS, entertain people like me bored with conventional television shows. Nobody loses. Except whales, but meh, no great loss.
Do you mean a canal from Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea?

A previous thread is about flooding Congo and Chad:
https://historum.com/threads/i-just-saw-a-hypothetical-map-of-africa.175451/

Or, do we prefer something like that?


Note that Africa is considerably greener in this map.
 
Jan 2009
1,187
#17
You do realise both of those bodies are full of salt water, right? Ever tried watering arable crops with salt water?
There would be an increase in the local evaporation surely, with the presence of a large inland sea/lake. Whether this would translate to an increase in local rainfall, I don't know, but I would expect so? I wonder if anyone has done any climatic modelling on this? (Beyond my field & expertise, alas.)

In any case, even salt water is better than no water. It should be possible to use solar energy to do controlled evaporation, allowing the water vapor condense during the night and be collected. Perhaps not practicable for industrial scale, but at least some increase of potable water for private consumption?

Note: Not taking sides as far as the cost-benefit analysis of such a project is concerned. Just musing about how such a body of water, once in existence, might influence the local environment.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,384
Dispargum
#18
There would be an increase in the local evaporation surely, with the presence of a large inland sea/lake. Whether this would translate to an increase in local rainfall, I don't know, but I would expect so? I wonder if anyone has done any climatic modelling on this? (Beyond my field & expertise, alas.)
One thing needed for rainfall is uplift - a way to get moisture from the surface up to the clouds. The Sahara is in a zone of high pressure that surrounds the Earth at aprx 30 degrees north latitude. High pressure is falling air. Low pressure is rising air. Low pressure is much more conducive to precipitation. There are exceptions, like coastal micro climates that exist where large bodies of land and water come in contact with each other. An example would be lake effect snow fall. Buffalo, New York gets disproportionately more snow than Detroit because Buffalo is west of Lake Erie. There might be similar effects near these proposed African lakes, but they would be smaller patches of green than you might think. Sixty miles east of Buffalo the snow fall is considerably less because the lake effect has been depleted.
 
Likes: Whyte
Jan 2009
1,187
#19
There might be similar effects near these proposed African lakes, but they would be smaller patches of green than you might think. Sixty miles east of Buffalo the snow fall is considerably less because the lake effect has been depleted.
Thanks for that info. I think increased rainfall for a 100km band around the lake would still be welcome...

However, I wonder if there is a risk of messing up with local fresh water sources (oasis and such)... I guess that comparatively speaking, that would be a very minor issue. Another potential advantage of the salt water lake is that it would be replenishing its fishes from the sea, hence providing a source of food. Also, those household evaporators might give a source of salt, something which is quite important for human health, too, particularly in desert conditions.
 
Mar 2018
484
UK
#20
How about we do the opposite, dump all the sand from the Sahara into the sea! It's full of salt and other nutrients which would massively boost the oceanic biome. This in turn will both suck CO2 out of the air, and increase the number of fish for people to eat. It's a win win!
 

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