close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
September 8, 2018

Big wind, solar farms could boost rain in Sahara

World

AFP
September 8, 2018

TAMPA: Installing massive wind and solar farms in the Saharan desert could slow global warming, and also give a small but beneficial boost to rain in the dry African region, researchers said on Thursday.

The study in the journal Science used computer modeling to simulate the effect of covering 20 percent of the largest desert on the planet in solar panels and installing three million wind turbines there.

A solar and wind farm of that size -- more than 3.5 million square miles -- would be "at a scale large enough to power the entire world," said the report. Overall, researchers found that any changes in the African desert climate resulting from wind and solar power installations would be positive, because more plants would grow near where the farms are placed.

Together, according to model simulations, the wind and solar farm effect boosted average rain across the entire Sahara from 0.24 millimeters per day to 0.59 mm per day. The effect was not uniform across the vast desert, with the most substantial rain increase occurring in the Sahel, a semi-arid region extending from Senegal to Sudan, where residents could see 200 to 500 mm more rain per year, or about 1.12 mm per day near the wind farms.

This would be "large enough to have major ecological, environmental, and societal impacts," said the report.