Web desk: Scientists may have found a way to bring rainfall and greenery back to the Sahara Desert, reported CNET.
According to the report of University of Illinois and University of Maryland, a massive wind and solar installation in the dessert would raise local temperature, precipitation and vegetation and could bring benefits to the area.
The researchers said that the study was conducted on Sahara desert because of its scale, lack of in-habitation and sensitivity to land changes and would cover more than 9 million square kilometers.
Researchers found that on average precipitation doubled with the installation of the farms, growing by as much as 0.25 millimeters per day.
Researcher Eugenia Kalnay stated, “The rainfall increase is a consequence of complex land-atmosphere interactions that occur because solar panels and wind turbines create rougher and darker land surfaces.”
The author of the study, Yan Li revealed, “This increase in participation, in turn, leads to an increase in vegetation cover creating a positive feedback loop.”
The scientists said that the wind and solar farms also created an average of 3 terawatts and 79 terawatts of clean energy respectively.
“The increase in rainfall and vegetation, combined with clean electricity as a result of solar and wind energy, could help agriculture, economic development and social well-being in the Sahara, Sahel, Middle East and other nearby regions,” said co-researcher Safa Motesharrei.