Can We Terraform the Sahara to Stop Climate Change?

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Real Engineering : I wouldn't normally push Patreon, but with production quantity and quality going up, every bit helps. If you gain value from the content and want to give back in some way, consider supporting on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/realengineering (edit: discussion point, should I remove comments of climate change deniers, or let my intelligent audience drown them out?)

FutureNow : Sounds easier than terraforming Mars as our planet B.

Enrique : Great Idea.... while deforesting the Amazon Rainforest.. we are going to terraform the Sahara...

peter lewis : can we stop terraforming the good land into desert first ?

fieryelf : China is already doing this with the Gobi Desert. From what I heard they're getting pretty good results out of it.

pillowsocket : You are solving human climate change with human climate change.

Timothy McLean : Cheap solar and wind energy are nice, but they have too many downsides. They're inactive much of the time, they take up loads of space, etc etc. We need to supplement them with _some_ kind of power which can be generated 24/7 in small plants, with minimal carbon footprint. Luckily, we have that. It's called nuclear power. The risks are overstated (a properly-maintained power plant emits less radiation than you'd get in Denver, nuclear waste is kept in-plant until its radiation output slows to a safe rate, meltdowns are incredibly unlikely if you don't turn off safety systems [Chernobyl] or get hit with multiple simultaneous natural disasters [Fukishima], etc), and the benefits are immense. I'm not saying we should use nuclear _instead_ of solar and wind; I'm saying that we should use nuclear _in addition to_ solar and wind. And geothermal, and maybe some forms of hydropower, and probably some other stuff. But nuclear should be part of that equation—it fills in so many gaps left by the weaknesses of other green power sources.

Jonathan Allen : Look towards Israel they already turned the desert green

Cash Bonanza : Isn't China doing something similar?

George Dang : The greatest barrier to terraforming desert isn't technological, it's political. China already terraformed parts of the Gobi desert. But that's only feasible for China. US invaded more countries, staged more coups and incited more civil wars in the past 50 years than China did in the past 5000 years. There is no political will in the western world to break the bank on anything except war. We have no stomach to save the planet, we only kill people.

Tulio Cano : They should spend the money that it is need. We are running out of time. Stop building weapons and focus in the world.

Vicente lerdo : We could start by not cutting trees

Bruno Almeida : Solar Power in Ireland... that's a joke in itself 😝

Arghore : There seems to be a mistake in the effects of Albido … While it is true that High Albido reflects energy, while low Albido retains energy … The thing to consider here (engineering wise) is what happens with that Energy … A high albido in the desert (and poles) reflects that energy into 'the atmosphere', where it is currently trapped by CO2, Water, Dust, Methane in that atmosphere, before the rest (if anything) is transferred into space, THIS is part of the problem we face, we trap heat and high Albido regions contribute to that more directly than lower albido regions. What happens in low albido regions then? Well that depends entirely on what the region is made up off: Area's with a high thermal mass (like stone) store that energy as heat and release it slowly into the atmosphere (this is also really bad for our scenario, more so than high albido reflection where some of that energy is reflected as light, where the thermal mass releases energy as heat (infra red light to be specific), If the area is made up of something with a low thermal mass, then it will use the energy to heat up fast and release the heat fast (even worse); BUT, there is a third option here, and that happens with both solar cells and PLANTS, they use part of the energy to convert it into something else, electrical energy in regards with solar cells, and chemical energy in the form of glucose through photosynthesis when it concerns plants. This means less of the energy is converted to heat … thus these types of low albido sources are actually beneficial to reducing heating! There are also some misconceptions in this video. That people wouldn't agree to using farmland for forests… this is complete and utter BS … we have build cities in the most fertile lands for centuries (as those population centers grew due to the available food production, to a point where currently there isn't ANY food production there anymore), we currently build solar farms, wind parks, industrial sites, and what not, in fertile lands... And when it comes to the western world, the population doesn't even do anything useful with the land they do still have. The world's food productions i kept *artificially LOW* because else farmer (whom already receive a lot of subsidies from the state) wouldn't be able to make a living in our ever inflating economies. The only people not willing to turn land into forests are greedy investors that are part of our current problem anyways, as they have been holding our development to more sustainability for decennia, because they can not make more money off of it, and most of that money came from OIL production anyways!!! (so you can figure out how these people think straight away). Third, and this might just be the video here, but building a forest especially in the Sahara would increase rainfall in the dry band crossing the Middle East all the way into China, as part of the water we would pump in get's emitted again due to evaporation through the trees and gets carried to those regions by winds (the same winds that now carry no water and thus cause this band to be a desert). Greening of those area's WILL occur, causing an increase in fertility there (thus food production, and thus also reduce economic immigration from those regions), not to mention that more green means more carbon absorption. Lastly, Saharan sand particles are pretty useless for fertility in the regions you speak of, as they carry no biological matter, merely some minerals 'if lucky' … these sand particles just build up soil and maybe in million years have been broken down into some of those minerals, most will just wash out through the Amazon though. This also means the effect on plankton (to me) seems absolutely overestimated, they live off of biological matter not silica. But true, we here in the west can do a couple of things, two of which are Solar and Wind Energy... Others concern: building those solar cells ON actual buildings, so we don't waste valuable land for them. We can also PRODUCE MORE FOOD, personally by having our gardens produce food, and by not wasting valuable land on useless crap. We should also PLANT MORE TREES, even here in the West (or lets say 'specifically here'), because we can stare at say South America and point at them for cutting down the rain forest (which they have been and are doing), but we have done the EXACT SAME over the last couple of centuries !! The only way to convince them to stop (or cut strategically and manage sustainable), is to restore our forests where we can! … Others are conserving energy, driving Electrical, and actually THINK about the shit that is being forced down our throats in regards to the Climate Change reports … Many of which are filled with faulty arguments, and/or are steered by other interests than just the problem (f/e, the Saharan forest would increase food production in the Middle East, and thus reduce their dependencies on imports and thus increase their overall 'power' by being less dependent. It would also provide Afrika with a huge amount of currently limited resources, crashing the wood industry and increasing the Economic power of those regions, while reducing others … These types of effects are the more (most) likely reason why this study of yours says that greening the Sahara isn't a solution, where in all reality, IT IS !! … And these interest largely come from the prementioned parties that still think their backwards thinking that got them rich will keep them 'rich enough' to not be hit by this problem, and if anything they are surely not going to pay a dime (if they can) to contribute to a solution. They are addicted to their wood-pulp/cotton mix which is printed with some arbitrary dead president and some numbers, with some walnut husk goo ! So please, if you pretend to be an engineer, than at least think like one, or redub your channel to 'Regurgitating Engineering shit i don't really understand to advertise my internet platform and cash in some of that useless wood-pulp through advertisement and Patreon moneys'. :@ … because clearly you then become part of the problem, instead of the solution !

Valdemar Hoejlund : Atomic power is a great option. Atomic power has already saved 1.8 million lives and prevented 64 Billion tons of co2 equivalents being put into the air. Some researchers have estimated that 1 ton of co2 melts about 3 square meters of ice. Using those numbers atomic power has prevented the melting of 192.000 square kilometers of ice. Atomic power is the safest energy form we have, yet people are afraid of it. Don't tell me to live in Fukushima or Chernobyl. I might as well ask you to die from lung cancer caused by burning fossil fuels or biofuels.

sock lover : is it just me or did he say that the eukalyptus tree is the habitat for these cute little shits

Ad Mirer : Stupid idea-grasslands are much better at absorbing solar energy (and CO2) than trees. Tree monoculture has been tried (D. K. Ludwig, Brazil, 1970s; he tried plantations of Carribean pines, grown for pulpwood. They died due to local plant disease. best idea is to flood the Quattara Depression, and desalinate that water for agriculture. The Sahara is a desert because the Mediterranean Sea cooled in the last 10,000 years-mankind had nothing to do with it. Australia is dry because it sits at the wrong latitude-move it noth a few 100 miles and it would be green.

Rash B blin : We could just *BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICA*

MaxiPC : This is scary because, for the people that are old enough late 20s + you probably HAVE seen changes in your environments. You remember things that just dont happen anymore.

Safir : I think dumping loads of organic matter into the desert like human feces, dead stuff, leaves, food waste ect could give the soil an incredible amount of minerals & bacteria to grow plants.

Skyer : If they want to plant that many trees, a Monoculture would be a horrible idea, A minimum of 4 tree species would be needed

Flangelus : What's worse than CO2 is Methane and Nitrous Oxide. Both which and also including Co2 come mainly from animal agriculture. Not to mention number 1 cause of deforestation, which is to grow crops for cattle. Stop eating meat!

monkfoobar : You are wrong if you deny it! Oh no!

Ahmet Kıpkıp : Nuclear power especially with new methods are the solution I believe

Se7ens : YOU'RE DEAD WRONG IF YOU DENY IT. okay lol

Timothy McLean : Oh, _your_ country is going to miss its carbon targets? I'd probably empathise more if my country's incumbent executive officials (and too many of its legislators) weren't actively denying that anthropogenic climate change was a thing.

Adam H : Just stop and think how crazy "Stopping Climate Change" is.

fmj 556 : Ok the earth how old and the facts you present are only a tiny sliver of time. I call BS.

Gavin V. : The Earth is Flat The Earth is the center of the Universe Vaccines cause Down Syndrome ... Climate change is a myth

Tony Perri : "“This is fact, you are WRONG if you deny it” That is a perfect way to completely turn a huge potential audience away from you. It's incredibly dismissive and insulting to people who disagree with you who also have valid points - which BY THE WAY, there ARE people who don't "believe" in man-made climate change who ALSO make valid points. Sincerely, someone who almost certainly agrees 100% with you about the causes of climate change.

Alberto_Valentini : Don't eucalyptus trees tend to self combust all the time?

Berdyie : I think that to perform this action on such an enormous scale is both unrealistic and a "waste" of resources. Based on the information given about the results, we can see that the positives MIGHT not even outweigh the negatives. That being said, do NOT take this as me saying "Fuck the planet". I personally think we should find a better solution with more prominent positive results and an easier method. Right now, with the information given in this video, it does not seem like a wise choice to attempt this method unless we have results that reflect the cost, time and effort poured into such a huge project. While I do think that we need to plan ahead for the future, and begin projects such as these, this particular project does not seem to shine when compared to other possibilities. If the world was going to pool their resources together to combat climate change, a more efficient solution is required.

Adam Wolf : 1. The main problem is overpopulation, if we had a smaller population we would have less cars less products needed, and use less food and water. 2.it has been proven that long ago the Sahara desert was a different type of terrain full of forests and trees. 3. We could start by creating a forest in Australia as there would not be much of an effect on other terrain around it except the obvious fact of the creatures that live in desert, then we could slowly start adding trees to the Sahara which would lead to nature slowly adapt to the changes and the small forest will most likely expand in a natural rate which should not be much of a problem as nature should start adapting and we can take the needed water from the Nile if we will start the forest near it and we could also artificially create a water body by using the source of the Nile to create a self sustaining lake that would eventually lease to another small forest around it

Bikky Ghai : I wanted to watch the video, it starts with PROPAGANDA: climate change is a fact and you are wrong to deny it. Would you like a commercial on TV like to start with: General Motors has the best cars ever made, this is proven, and you are just wrong to deny it!!! You would be irritated right? Yes. So, It do not want to listen anymore to this video or to this youtube channel, because the way this guy treat subjects non-objectivity and with a (religious) zeal. Give me a break. Proven? Then you do not know how this consensus is forced through with media, and even scientist working on IPCC do not agree on this matter. Case is NOT closed. It really seems that CO2 has little to do with it. A little more critical approach would be better

Luke Suchy : Or we could put a lot of solar panels in the desert and ship it throughout Europe and the middle East. Getting all those people on renewables would probably make a bigger difference.

Vinesh Pendurthi : Find it so funny he calls koalas "These cute little shits."

Levi Andric : Just use Ecosia, the search engine that plants trees. www.ecosia.org

Red Baron : Terraforming Australia's desert regions could work. Terraforming the Sahara would never work. You would need a police force to prevent the natives from cutting the trees down.

The AJ : Terraforming the Sahara would just create more uncertain weather and climate patterns. Maybe just lessen emissions and invest more in clean energy instead of this misguided idea?

Jeff Kim : This sounds so naive. Just think about it. When deserts become places where they can grow trees with modern technology, would the nations leave the area uncultivated and undeveloped? No.

TagMyBat 76 : I support this project, i hate sand it's coarse and rough and it gets everywhere....

Alex : I also feel like we should turn some of the desert into solar pannel farms.

Shadow Tracers : So what if we throw our garbage in volcanoes?

Paolo Ibayan : What if all nations require every citizen be it a child/adult to plant even a single tree during his lifetime? Like making this a requirement, same as tax. If the current world population is 7.442 billion, imagine how many trees we can plant. 7.442 billion trees are almost the size as Sahara if we follow the 1 tree /sqm! EDIT* That's more affordable than planting on Sahara desert. The tree you plant will be registered under your name and there's a paper or certificate you receive upon doing so.

jasonthesage : 'Real Engineering' lmfao have you ever been to the sahara? Have you ever even planted a tree that survived?

Eric F : Greenland was green when the Vikings got there. I don't fret about the .8 degrees rise. CO2 only makes up about 2% of the atmosphere. The question you should be asking about this issue is what to be done about it. I say a carbon tax would destroy the world economy. All the great things that oil brings to the world can not be replaced. It's funny, America has withdrawn from the Paris accord, but has decreased its carbon footprint beyond its commitment while the rest of the world is not reducing the carbon footprint. Yes, I know we reduce by converting to natural gas, but isn't that the point?

Ashton Riddell : outback mate

Beach Looking Guy : So how many years of desalinating before we need to start asalinating, Hmmmmmmmmmm!? 🤔

Lecherous Lizard : You can't stop climate change.

Johnny Yu : Why don't just use nuclear power plant ?