Could a Saharan Forest End Global Warming?

NASA scientists are floating the idea that turning deserts on the equator into lush forests could single-handedly end global warming.
November 23, 2009, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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In a recent article in The Journal of Climate Change, cell biologist Leonard Ornstein and NASA climate modelers Igor Aleinov and David Rind make the case that greening deserts on the equator is the quickest and most effective way to cool the atmosphere.

From ASLA's The Dirt blog: "Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and other northern African countries, along with central Australia, would all be suitable sites. Forestation must occur in sub-tropical areas where there is little chance of darker forested landscapes soaking up more sunlight and therefore warming the earth's surface."

From the Guardian UK: "Planting trees to combat rising carbon dioxide levels is controversial on a large scale, because most places where it has been suggested, such as Canada and Siberia, are in the northern hemisphere where the resulting change in surface colour, from predominantly light snow and rock to predominantly dark trees, could soak up more sunlight and cancel out the cooling benefit."

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Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 in ASLA's The Dirt blog
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