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hurricanes and african deserts?  RSS feed

 
Curtis Meyn
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I am fairly new to the whole permaculture world and have been reading/learning. Is it silly to think that reducing-slowing the deforestation of Africa and also bring the deserts back to perennial agro land could reduce the hurricanes in the west?
 
David Livingston
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not really as everything is connected -we only have one atmosphere on this planet .

David
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Well, yes and no David, While your statement that we have only one atmosphere is technically correct, we do have climates that are vastly different.
It is these "macro" climates that are changing the planet's temperature and human activities have created part of the climatic changes the earth mother is experiencing.

It would be wonderful if we could deduce what effect there was on planetary climate back when the Sahara and Namib deserts were forested.
Currently it is these deserts that set up the chain reaction which ends up creating the hurricanes that hit the North American Continent.
The Typhoons of the Pacific normally come either off the Australian desert (the out back) or from the Deserts in China.

I like to compare the world overall climate to those micro climates we can create and then study the effects in these microcosmic areas, it just might be a way to discover methods that would work to reduce or reverse the effects we are currently experiencing.
These would go along with sequestering as much carbon from the atmosphere as possible, into long term storage in plant materials and the soil.
 
Angelica Harris
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Location: Statesboro, GA
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I'm in no way an expert, but aren't desert grounds as necessary in the grand scheme of things as forested areas? Surely to reforest entire deserts would produce other, currently unseen reactions in the end. However, it would maybe be a good idea to attempt to reforest some of the larger areas that have been stripped in recent history. And in that way, I would think that it may be a good idea to not only plant trees but also jump start the succession process? You know broadcast some mosses or drought loving ground covers onto the barest lands and see what takes? Just my thoughts.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I believe that a desert currently exists in the Sahara because of the precession of Earth's poles. Under that model, we can expect the Sahara to turn from swamp to desert, and back again about every 23,000 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_climate_cycles
 
Curtis Meyn
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I believe that a desert currently exists in the Sahara because of the precession of Earth's poles. Under that model, we can expect the Sahara to turn from swamp to desert, and back again about every 23,000 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_climate_cycles


Using only that model in wiki would make sense but does that model consider monocultures increase over the last 10,000years and significant increase over the last 200 years, along with the industrial revolution obviously. Are deserts growing at an exponential rate
due to monoculture agriculture and a dependency on annual crops? Deserts obviously have a place and function but the rate of growth does not fit into a natural ecological model.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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We know well the process of desertification, it has been studied for over 80 years and at least three models of desertification work for planet earths deserts. All of them have geological events that change rain patterns to the point of rain exclusion which dries out the land, creating winds that dry the land even more and presto new desert. It normally doesn't take all that long (geologically speaking) for a desert to form or for a desert to disappear.
 
Steve Farmer
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- The Earth rotates, the surface drags the lower atmosphere with it.
- Air rises at the equator where it is warmer and falls at the cooler poles (poles in the sense of where the rotational axis intersects the surface rather than magnetic poles)
- Continental land masses experience bigger temperature variances than the oceans.

These are the three well understood main factors that create storms.
I'm not aware of any significant impact that desert vs forest makes on this system, nor of any significance of global temps. If the earth warms or cools as a whole it's still the temperature differences that matter, not the absolute numbers.

While there are oceans and continents and an atmosphere, and the earth spins, we will always have storms.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Hurricane Science 

This link tells most everything about Hurricanes, birth, life, death.
 
Marco Banks
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We know that forests assist in the movement of water across long distances, as rain falls on the forest, and then moisture is transpired by the trees back up into the atmosphere, only to be carried a couple hundred miles and then dropped again in the form of rain.  Repeat, again and again.  But where rain falls and there are no trees to "pick it up" and put it back into the air, the cycle is broken.

The lack of vegetation to re-humidify the air means that hundreds of miles further inland, there will be no rain.  The macro impact of desertification is felt hundreds and even thousands of miles away.  But when you reforest, you see a difference in weather and available precipitation far inland.  Israel is seeing this after having reforested thousands of acres over the past 50 years.  South Korea also has taken on projects to reforest huge sections of their country, and the resulting precipitation far inland has increased considerably. 
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Indeed Marco and don't forget that all that new vegetation is gathering and holding on to lots of carbon from the CO2 it inhales at night, just the carbon sequestering additions can make a difference in those atmospheric conditions.

Throughout history deserts come and go, but over the last 3 thousand years many forests have been decimated. Think of what Lebanon must have looked like when it still had those forests that are now gone because of everyone in ancient times wanting Lebanese Cedar for their buildings.
Humans have a long, long history of short sightedness when it comes to natural resources.

It is time we started putting right all those wrongs that have been done in the name of monetary profit.
Not to try is to admit we are just fine with committing suicide of the human race.

Redhawk
 
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